Pointspread: Los Angeles -4.5
Total Line: 200
The Denver Nuggets will look to avoid falling into a 0-2 hole to the Los Angeles Lakers this Tuesday night in the second game of this first-round best-of-seven Western Conference playoff matchup. Game 2 is slated to get underway at 10:30 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on TNT.
Denver was basically a no-show in Sunday’s Game 1 after falling behind by 10 points at the half and never getting any closer than that down the stretch in a 103-88 romp as a 4.5-point road underdog. The total stayed ‘under’ the 203-point line.
Danilo Gallinari scored a team-high 19 points with three other players scoring in double figures, but as a team, the Nuggets shot just 35.6 percent from the floor and were outrebounded 52-46. They could generate very little from beyond the arc; converting on just 28.6 percent of their shots from three-point range.
Los Angeles may have not looked like a championship-caliber team at times during the regular season, but it certainly had its playoff game-face on this past Sunday. Andrew Bynum turned in an All-Star performance with a triple-double (10 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 blocked shots) and Kobe Bryant overcame a slow start to post a game-high 31 points. Bynum’s 10 blocks tied a NBA-playoff record while Bryant ended-up shooting 45.8 percent from the floor.
The Lakers dominated almost every phase of Game 1 as they kept Denver off balance from the opening tip. The outscored them in all four quarters and had an all-important 64-44 edge in points in the paint.
Denver is 6-0 ATS in its last six games following a loss and 28-10 in its last 38 games as underdogs on the road. The total has stayed ‘under’ in 25 of its last 36 first-round playoff games.
Los Angeles is 5-16 in its last 21 games as a favorite, but 4-1 ATS in its last five home games and 4-1 ATS in its last five games in the first round of the playoffs. The total has gone ‘over’ in five of its last seven games overall.
The Nuggets have fallen to 6-14-1 in their last 21 road games against the Lakers and the total has stayed ‘under’ in 17 of the last 22 meetings on the road.
The Free NBA Pick
Look for Denver to put forth a much better effort on Tuesday night but it still will not be enough to keep the Lakers from taking the 2-0 edge in this series. Los Angeles 98 Denver 92
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