Denver Nuggets (37-30 SU, 31-33-3 ATS, 34-33 O/U) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (30-36 SU, 36-30 ATS, 36-29-1 O/U)
NBA: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 10:30 p.m. EST
The Los Angeles Lakers are 7-2 in their last nine games heading into a home date with the Denver Nuggets at the Staples Center on Tuesday night. Los Angeles most recently defeated Cleveland on Sunday. The Nuggets are coming off consecutive victories over the Lakers and Sacramento.
Taking to the road
If the Nuggets are going to make the playoffs, they will have to perform well on the road. Denver begins a closing stretch loaded with road games when it visits the Lakers on Tuesday in a rematch of a recent chippy affair in Denver. The Nuggets finished off a 2-1 home-stand with a 130-104 rout of Sacramento on Sunday and remain tied with two other teams in the race for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference–but they play 10 of their final 15 contests on the road, where they are 11-20.
“It’s great when you can build the lead and sustain that lead,” head coach Michael Malone told reporters after the win over the Kings. “We were able to do that tonight and obviously for what we have in mind, what our goals are, to be a playoff team, you need to do that.”
Nikola Jokic notched his seventh triple-double with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the win over the Kings as Denver led by as many as 36 points.
“Long overdue for a blowout like that,” forward Paul Millsap told reporters following the Nuggets’ most lopsided victory since Nov. 17.
Bouncing back in style
The Lakers fell 125-116 at Denver last Friday in a game that ended with head coach Luke Walton yelling at Nuggets guard Jamal Murray. L.A., however, bounced back to coast past Cleveland on Sunday. Julius Randle scored 36 points on 14-of-18 shooting as Los Angeles improved to 15-7 in its last 22 outings. The Lakers are starting off a back-to-back situation that also involves a visit to Golden State on Wednesday, and Walton is electing to give standout forward Brandon Ingram– who has missed five straight games with a strained groin–both games off before he is re-evaluated. Randle is averaging 22.4 points with Ingram out and Brook Lopez has posted 21.2 points per game in the same stretch while making at least 10 field goals in each of the last three contests.
“We’re just connecting at both ends, and we’re able to really establish the way that we want to play,” Randle explained. “It’s been great.”
The Denver Nuggets are:
- 16-5 Over in their last 21 overall
- 6-1 Over in their last seven road games
- 17-3-1 Over in their last 21 games against teams with losing records
The Los Angeles Lakers are:
- 9-2-1 Over in their last 12 overall
- 6-1-1 Over in their last eight games against the Western Conference
- 5-1-1 Over in their last seven games following a win
Murray and Gary Harris also hit the 20-point mark for Denver in its previous outing. Jokic is averaging 25.7 points over his last three games after posting an average of 7.3 over his previous three. L.A. PG Lonzo Ball recorded his second career triple-double in the first meeting with the Nuggets at Los Angeles on Nov. 19, leading his team to a 127-109 victory. The over is 16-5 in the Nuggets’ last 21 overall, 6-1 in their last seven on the road, 17-3-1 in their last 21 against losing opponents, 4-0 in their last four on the road against opponents with winning home records, and 9-1 in their last 10 against the Western Conference. It is also 9-2-1 in the Lakers’ last 12 overall, 6-1-1 in their last eight against the Western Conference, and 5-1-1 in their last seven following a win. Additionally, the over is 20-6-1 in the last 27 meetings between the two teams and 5-0-1 in Denver’s last six trips to Los Angeles.