Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers
Saturday, 5/12/12, 10:30 PM EST, TV: TNT
Opening Point Spread: Los Angeles -5
Current Betting Line: Los Angeles -5.5
Opening Total: 198
Current Total: 195
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Denver has pushed this series to the brink after winning two straight games, including a 113-96 victory as three-point home favorites on Thursday night. “I’m nervous already,” commented Nuggets head coach George Karl. Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson didn’t display any nerves in scoring a playoff career-high 32 points in Game 6, as the squad jumped out to a 10-point lead in the first quarter and never looked back. The franchise is looking to become only the ninth team in NBA history to rally back from a 3-1 deficit to win a playoff series. Denver is 10-2 ATS as a road underdog of 3.5 to 6 points.
The Nuggets have only played in two Game 7s in team history, producing a 1-1 mark in those contests. Denver has been getting after it on the defensive end recently, holding Los Angeles to under 100 points in each of the past four games. It’s an impressive stretch considering the team had allowed 100-plus points in 22 of its previous 23 postseason games.
Los Angeles didn’t expect to be in this position after winning the first two games of the series at Staples Center, but the team can only hope to fall back on its 26-7 home record during the regular season. “Everything that has happened in this series has to be behind us, whether it’s good or bad,” stated Lakers forward Pau Gasol. He was an absolute no show in scoring just three points on 1-of-10 shooting in Game 6. It’s a puzzling situation due to already being a two-time champion since being acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies. Los Angeles is 0-6 ATS on Saturdays.
The Lakers will be playing their 24th Game 7 in franchise history, posting a 15-8 mark in the previous 23 opportunities. Los Angeles is a remarkable 14-1 when playing at home in this situation, including wins in 10 straight. Kobe Bryant was remarkable in scoring 31 points last time out while dealing with stomach problems, but received little to no production from the rest of the roster. He can only hope that the return of Metta World Peace will jumpstart the club, as he returns after serving a seven-game suspension.
Bettors will likely back the Nuggets due to their 38-15 ATS mark on the road, while the Lakers are 3-12 ATS as a home favorite.
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