ESPN’s FPI gives Denver a 51.7% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Wednesday’s matchup between the Lakers and Nuggets.
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Lakers vs. Nuggets Game Details
Date: Wednesday, February 12
Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
Location: Pepsi Center (Denver, Colorado)
TV: Spectrum SportsNet, Sportsnet One
Spread: Lakers -2.5
- PF Anthony Davis III (finger) probable
- PF Michael Porter Jr. (ankle) out
- SF Will Barton (knee) out
- PF Mason Plumlee (foot) out
- Lakers are 40-12 SU and 27-24-1 ATS this season
- Nuggets are 38-16 SU and 26-24-4 ATS this season
- Under is 26-26 in Lakers games this season
- Under is 29-25 in Nuggets games this season
Lebron James is doing something he has never done in his 17th NBA season. The four-time MVP is leading the NBA in assists for the first time ever, averaging 10.7 dimes per game. It’s not only the most of his career but also the only time he has ever averaged double-figures in that category. James has recorded at least nine assists in six straight games including 15 on Feb. 6 against the Rockets.
The efficient Lakers offense has helped James accomplish this feat in addition to a dominating season from Anthony Davis. In his first year paired with James, the big man is averaging 26.5 points on 51.9 percent shooting. The Lakers lead the NBA with a 48.8 field-goal percentage this season which means the rest of the team is converting on the looks set up by James. Expect Lebron to have another strong performance distributing the basketball in his final game before the All-Star break.
PICK: Lebron James Over 9.5 Assists
Jamal Murray and Paul Millsap gutted through injuries to help spark the Denver rally against the Spurs on Monday. The Nuggets erased a 23-point deficit with under 19 minutes to go as Millsap scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half and Murray poured in 14 points im the final quarter. It was Millsap’s second game back from a knee injury. Denver has won four in a row and eight of its last 10 games as they have climbed the ladder to second in the Western Conference standings, three games back of the Lakers for the top spot.
These teams split the first two meetings this season with each team winning on the road. The Nuggets blew past the Lakers 128-104 at STAPLES Center back on Dec. 22, however, Los Angeles was without James for that matchup. The Lakers won a 105-96 decision on Dec. 3 at Pepsi Center. Los Angeles is the only team in the NBA to have fewer losses on the road (five) than they do at home (seven).
Keep an eye on Avery Bradley, who has been lighting it up from behind the arc. Bradley is 18-of-29 from 3-point range while averaging 15 points over his last five games. The Lakers must solve a Denver defense ranked 3rd in 3-point shooting (34.1%). Helping the cause will be Rajon Rondo, who is coming off his best shooting game of the season. Rondo scored a season-high 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting in the blowout home victory over the Suns on Monday night Los Angeles has won four of its last five games both SU and ATS and they are a good bet to continue their momentum heading into the All-Str break.
PICK: Lakers -2.5
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith