NBA Game 4 Preview: Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers

May 22, 2023

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Game: Denver Nuggets @ Los Angeles Lakers

Time: 8:30 p.m.

Odds: Nuggets +3, Lakers -3

Total: 224.5

The top-seeded Denver Nuggets will have their first opportunity to advance to the NBA finals tonight when they face the Los Angeles Lakers tonight in Game 4. The Nuggets have won the first three games of the series, including Saturday’s Game 3, a 119-108 victory also in LA at the Arena. Denver is looking for its first-ever trip to the NBA Finals.

The Nuggets went on a pivotal 13-0 run to grab a 106-94 lead on a Nikola Jokic shot inside the paint with 4:50 remaining in Game 3. That came after the Lakers had overcome a double-digit deficit in the first half to lead 94-93. Denver then scored the next 13 straight points to put the Nuggets in a position they have never been before.

In spite of early foul problems, Jokic finished with 24 points, eight assists, and six rebounds. The effort put a stop to his string of four straight triple-doubles in the playoffs. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a former Laker, finished with 17 points, while Jamal Murray, who had 30 points in the first half finished the game with 37.

The Nuggets now have four chances to advance to the NBA Finals. Two of those will be at home. The series would move to Denver for Game 5 on Wednesday if the Lakers can win Game 4. The Lakers have had an amazing postseason run. It all started by having to win in the play-in round. Los Angeles wound up as the seventh seed and defeated the No. 2 Memphis Grizzlies in Round 1. Then, they knocked off reigning NBA champion Golden State in the second.

The Lakers have been close in each of the first three games of the Western Conference finals, but they haven’t had the decisive moment to win any of those games. LeBron James and Austin Reaves both scored 23 points in Game 3, while Anthony Davis finished with 28 points and 18 rebounds. James also provided 12 assists. The Lakers’ defense was almost non-existent in the fourth quarter as LA watched the Nuggets shoot 60.0 percent from the field. Additionally, Denver had 30 assists and only six turnovers.

James-led teams have been down 3-0 three times before in his career. Two of the teams got swept. His 2017 Cleveland team was able to win Game 4 against Golden State, but the Cavs lost to the Warriors in Game 5 to lose the series 4-1.

Denver is now 5-0 SU in its last five games. The Lakers are 1-4 SU in their last five. In the series so far, the Lakers have covered two of the three games. In their last six games against the Lakers, Denver is 1-4-1 ATS. Denver is a solid 52-43-1 ATS for the season.

Tonight’s total is set at 224.5. Two of the three games in the series have gone Over. The Nuggets and Lakers have averaged a total 232 points per game this series.

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