The Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers will be squaring off for the third time this season Saturday morning. The regular-season series is split so far between these teams, with the Nuggets winning the first one (110-99) in Denver and the Lakers taking the second one (121-110) in Hollywood.
Catch this game live on Saturday, December 17, at 11 AM, Manila time
Away: Denver Nuggets (17-10/9-7 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jamal Murray
- SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
- SF: Bruce Brown
- PF: Aaron Gordon
- C: Nikola Jokic
Denver scored a ton of points in its last outing, and it is hoping it can continue scoring at a high rate this Saturday in another meeting with the Lakers. The Nuggets are coming off a 141-128 home win over the Washington Wizards Thursday, with Nikola Jokic erupting for 43 points on 17/20 shooting. Jokic appears to be comfortable battling against the Lakers, as evidenced by the fact that he averaged 27.0 points on 60.6 FG% in the first two games against the Lakers this season.
As a team, the Nuggets are top 10 in the NBA in scoring offense (116.0 PPG), No. 2 in effective FG% (57.7%), and also No. 1 in 3-poin FG% (39.1%). With Jokic as the team’s focal point on offense, the Nuggets’ offense can bend and break LA, which isn’t all that stout defensively, with the Lakers just 25th in the NBA with 116.6 points allowed per game and 12th in adjusted defensive rating.
The Nuggets are 4-1 in their last five games against teams with a winning record.
Home: Los Angeles Lakers (11-16/6-7 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Dennis Schroder
- SG: Patrick Beverley
- SF: Lonnie Walker IV
- PF: LeBron James
- C: Anthony Davis
The Lakers put their fans on an adventure ride last Wednesday, as they lost to the Boston Celtics at home, 122-118 (OT). Los Angeles was down by as many as 20 points in the second half of that game but somehow found a way to go up by as many as 13 before ultimately losing collapsing and losing steam. Anthony Davis put up 37 points with 12 rebounds against Boston, while LeBron James scored 33 points and dished out nine assists.
One thing to know about the Lakers heading into Saturday’s game is that both Davis and Russell Westbrook have been efficient on offense when up against the Nuggets. Davis shot 56.8 FG% and Westbrook 50 FG% in the two meetings with Denver. Look for Davis, James, and Westbrook to get into the paint a lot and score from there against Denver, which is just 21st in the league with 50.6 paint points allowed per outing. The Lakers, on the other hand, are second overall with 57.0 paint points per game.
The Lakers are 4-1-1 against the spread in their last six games as the home team.
Spread: The Lakers (+1.5) cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total (236.0) hits the Under.