Lakers vs. Nuggets: Denver Extends the Series to a Game 6 at the Pepsi Center

Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets
Thursday, 5/10/12, 10:30 PM EST, TV:  TNT
Opening Point Spread:  Denver -1.5
Current Betting Line:  Denver -1.5
Opening Total:  199.5
Current Total:  197.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Los Angeles Lakers are 31-21 all-time in Game 6 of the NBA playoffs

Los Angeles was unable to close out the Denver Nuggets in Game 5 at the Staples Center, as the team will continue to expend energy before potentially facing the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference semifinals.  “We didn’t bring the energy that was required to put this team away, and they did,” stated Lakers power forward Pau Gasol about the 102-99 loss as six-point home favorites on Tuesday night.  Los Angeles is 5-4 ATS as a road underdog of three points or less, with the “over” going 5-4 in those contests.

The Lakers received a huge offensive effort from guard Kobe Bryant in the losing effort, scoring 43 points, which is much higher than his 25.0-point average in 56 career regular season games in this series.  With the three-point loss to the Denver Nuggets in Game 5, Los Angeles failed to close out an opponent on the first attempt fro just the fourth time since 2001.  The franchise will be playing a Game 6 for the 53rd time in franchise history, posting a 31-21 record in that situation.

Denver has split its two games inside the Pepsi Center in this series, with both games falling short of the posted total.  The “under” is 3-2 in the first five games of this best-of-seven first-round series.  “Playoff basketball is extremely intense,” commented Nuggets center JaVale McGee.  “It’s exciting and just a great experience.”  He finished Game 5 with 21 points and 14 rebounds, while guard Andre Miller led the team with 24 points and eight assists.  Denver is 2-3 ATS as a home favorite of three points or less, while the “under” is 3-2 in that situation.

The Nuggets will need to bring the same type of defensive intensity that it displayed last time out, pushing its all-time playoff record to 8-4 when holding opponents to under 40 percent shooting.  Denver has scored 100 or more points twice in this series, which is surprising due to leading the NBA in scoring 104.1 points per game during the regular season.

Bettors will likely back the Nuggets due to their 4-1 ATS mark as a favorite, while the Lakers are 1-5 in their last six playoff games as an underdog of 4.5 or fewer points.

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