The scene shifts to Los Angeles as the Nuggets hope to put a stranglehold in the series with a 3-0 lead. Denver won Game 1 in double-digits, 114-103, and Game 2 in a memorable finish, 101-99.

Catch the game this Friday at 10:00 AM, Manila time.

AWAY: Denver Nuggets (2-0)

Projected starting five:

  • Jamal Murray
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
  • Michael Porter Jr.
  • Aaron Gordon
  • Nikola Jokic

Everything is on the Nuggets’ side. They have (arguably) the best player in the world in Nikola Jokic, the clutch factor of Jamal Murray (and Jokic, for that matter), overall team chemistry, and whatever type of confidence they have built by winning each of their last 10 games against the Lakers. They simply have their number.

Nevertheless, the unflappable Jokic will continue his reign. He is averaging 29.5 points, 16.0 rebounds, 8.5 assists, and 2.0 steals per game on 61.5% shooting in the series. Murray is at 21.0 PPG and 7.5 APG on a terrible 37.5% clip, but who can complain if they’re up two-zip and he hits it when it matters the most, including a game-winning, buzzer-beater?

Michael Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon are also continuing to wreak havoc on LA, especially the former, as he too has over 20 PPG in five total meetings with LAL this season. The latter, meanwhile, does it with his size and defense.


HOME: Los Angeles Lakers (0-2)

Projected starting five:

  • D’Angelo Russell
  • Austin Reaves
  • LeBron James
  • Rui Hachimura
  • Anthony Davis

The Lakers hope to continue having the energy to take on the Nuggets. Losing 10 in a row to them is demoralizing, especially in the way it went down in Game 2, where they squandered a 20-point, second-half lead. Mind you that they also led by as much as 15 in Game 1.

What’s pretty concerning for the Lakers and its fans is they did a ton of things right and still lost. D’Angelo Russell, for one, also bounced back from a dud and had 23 points with seven threes, nicely complementing Anthony Davis (32 pts, 11 rebs) and LeBron James (26 pts, 8 rebs, 12 ast).

We’ll see if those three can regain their focus for Friday, which will tell us a lot about their team. Having said that, though, the team certainly hopes Austin Reaves (11.0 PPG) and Rui Hachimura (5.0 PPG, 27.3 FG%) can come alive as well. Both have been quiet thus far.

Key defender Jarred Vanderbilt, who only played 29 games in the regular season, can potentially during the series. He can provide some help too.


Spread: Nuggets (-1.5)

Over/Under: Over (216)