The Denver Nuggets travel back to L.A. to take on the Los Angeles Lakers in game 7 of their first round matchup. The game is scheduled for a 10:30 pm start time and it will be televised live on TNT. Currently the odds have the Lakers favored by 5.5 points with the total sitting at 195 points for the contest.
Free Analysis: The Nuggets look to ride momentum of two straight victories when they try to beat the Lakers on their home floor in a decisive Game 7 tonight. The star of Thursday’s 113-96 blowout was PG Ty Lawson who torched the Lakers with 32 points (13-of-18 FG, 5-of-6 threes), six assists and five rebounds. This was quite an improvement from his Game 5 performance in L.A. when he was held to nine points on 4-of-12 FG. His backcourt mate, SG Arron Afflalo, has been off the mark the entire series, but has played much better the past two games. In the Game 5 win in L.A., he pumped in 19 points on 8-of-19 FG. Then on Thursday, Afflalo posted a +26 rating, scoring just six points (3-of-5 FG), but adding seven assists and five rebounds. SF Danilo Gallinari contributed with 12 points and seven assists in Game 6. Although Gallinari has 15.2 PPG in the series, his percentages are awful: 38.8% FG, 15.0% threes. Rookie PF Kenneth Faried continues to look impressive, as his double-double on Thursday puts him at 11.2 PPG and 10.0 RPG for the series. Denver has really claimed the interior during its last two victories, outscoring the Lakers 108-76 in the paint. The Nuggets, losers in the first round of the playoffs in seven of the past eight seasons, have advanced to a Game 7 for the first time since 1994. The Nuggets are just 5-16 (8-12-1 ATS) in their past 21 road games versus the Lakers, but are 19-17 (24-12 ATS) away from home this season. It was hard to tell what bothered Kobe Bryant more – his stomach bug or the nauseating performance put forth by his teammates in the Los Angeles Lakers' lopsided Game 6 loss. Kobe Bryant continues to carry the offense with 31.2 PPG, or nearly one-third of L.A.’s points this series. He’s also added 5.2 RPG, 4.5 APG and 1.3 SPG to help make up for his 44.9% FG and 32.5% three-point clips. Bynum’s numbers this series are strong (16.8 PPG, 11.3 RPG), but he’s made just nine field goals during the two-game losing skid. Gasol averaged 17.4 PPG during the regular season, but has just 11.2 PPG in the series, including a mere 12 points on 5-of-21 FG in the past two contests. PG Ramon Sessions is shooting only 40.3% FG for the series (23.5% threes), but his numbers are pretty well-rounded: 13.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 4.3 APG. SF Metta World Peace (7.7 PPG during regular season) will make his playoff debut after serving a suspension for elbowing James Harden. He hasn’t fared very well against Denver this season with just 7.8 PPG on 33% FG, but will certainly help with his versatile defensive skills. The Lakers are 28-8 SU at home, but just 17-19 ATS.
Free Pick: Gonna look to the Under in this one. The Lakers have lost the last 2 in this series and it has mostly been due to a Defense that has allowed 113 and 102 points in the 2 games, so you can expect them to look for more of a defensive minded gameplan in this one. The Lakers also get Metta World Peace back which should help a whole lot on the defensive end. The Lakers allowed Denver 102 points here in Game 5, but they still allow just 93.1 ppg at home, while their home games have averaged just 192 ppg on the year. Denver plays higher scoring games, but this is game 7 and i expect both teams to come out a bit tight, while the end of the game should be close and that should have both teams walking the ball up and looking for that perfect shot. This one should be played in the 180's.
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