The Los Angeles Lakers became the third straight team to take a 3-1 series lead over the Denver Nuggets in the NBA playoffs, with a 114-108 win on Thursday night, as a six-point favorite. The Lakers are now just one win away from advancing to the NBA Finals for the 32nd time in franchise history.
With the win, the Lakers are 11-3 straight up in the postseason and 8-5-1 against the spread. The Nuggets are 9-9 overall in the playoffs, and 11-5-2 against the spread.
Including the regular season, the Lakers have now defeated the Nuggets in six out of eight times head-to-head meetings.
Nuggets in familiar positionThe Nuggets are in familiar territory trailing 3 to 1, after being in the same situation against the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers in the first two rounds.
On Thursday, the Nuggets shot 50.6% (39-77) from the field, 35.7% (10-28) on threes, and 87% (20-23) from the line. Denver did cut down on the turnovers, by only committing 11 after allowing at least 16 turnovers in each of the first three games of the series. Jamal Murray led the team with 32 points and eight assists while shooting 12 of 20 from the field and making all eight free-throws. Despite Murray having a big game offensively, he failed to make a three-point shot (0-3) for the first time during this postseason run. Jerami Grant was the second-leading scorer on the team for the second straight game adding 17 points, and Nikola Jokic added 16 points and seven rebounds but was limited in the fourth quarter due to picking up five fouls.
The Nuggets trailed 105-102 with 3:28 left in the game but missed their final shots from the field down the stretch.
Lakers one win away from finalsThe Lakers led the Nuggets 60-55 at half-time and by as many as 11 points in the third quarter. The Nuggets cut the lead down to 87-86 with 10:21 remaining in the game, but the Lakers would never relinquish being ahead.
The Lakers' formal complaints to the league about their lack of free-throw attempts seemed to work, as the Lakers went to the line for 35 attempts after shooting 22 in the previous game.
Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 34 points on 10 of 15 from the field and 13 of 14 from the free-throw line. Lebron James followed with 26 points and 11 of 14 from the line. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 13 points, and Dwight Howard went 5 of 6 from the floor with 12 points and 11 rebounds in his first start of the playoffs.
For the game, Los Angeles shot 47.5% (38-80) from the field, 33.3% (10-30) on threes, and 80% (28-35) from the free-throw line.
The Lakers committed a series low nine turnovers after committing 39 combined turnovers in the previous two games.
- Lakers are 2-6-1 in their last 9 games as a favorite over the Nuggets
- Nuggets are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games this postseason when trailing in the series
- Nuggets are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games