The Western Conference finals has reached its first elimination game as the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to advance to the NBA Finals with a win in Game 5 on Saturday. Los Angeles has taken a 3-1 series lead over the Denver Nuggets after a six-point victory in Game 4.
The Lakers are the top seed in the Western Conference, and they have looked the part this postseason. Los Angeles has lost just three games in the playoffs and is now a heavy title favorite.
Denver has some work to do after falling into a 3-1 hole, but it has been in this position before. The Nuggets pulled off a pair of 3-1 series comebacks against the Utah Jazz and LA Clippers to get to the Western Conference finals.
BetUS has the Los Angeles Lakers as six-point favorites in this elimination game against Denver.
Nuggets Need More Offense
If the Denver Nuggets are going to keep their season alive, they are going to need more players to step up on offense. Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic have carried the Nuggets throughout the playoffs, but they can’t do it by themselves.
Murray had 32 points in the Game 4 loss, and he has been terrific at getting to the basket. Murray did go 0-for-3 from the 3-point line on Thursday night, and the Nuggets need their star to shoot it better from deep.
The Lakers have been throwing several defenders at Jokic, and that plan seemed to work in Game 4. Jokic went just 6-of-13 from the field and the Nuggets need another 30-point performance from their star.
Outside of Murray and Jokic, Jerami Grant is the only other Nuggets starter to average in double digits in scoring. The Nuggets will need their role players to be great in Game 5 if they want to survive.
Superstars Carrying Lakers
LeBron James and Anthony Davis are two of the best players in the NBA, and they have played well in this series. That dynamic duo combined for 60 points in the Game 4 win, and the Nuggets don’t seem to have any answers.
James and Davis will be looking to get the Lakers into the NBA Finals for the first time as a duo, and they will be looking for some additional rest by closing out the series as soon as possible.
Los Angeles is still looking for some more bench scoring in the rest of the playoffs, as the reserves had just 26 total points in Game 4. Kyle Kuzma has had some huge games for the Lakers in the postseason, and another big game could push them to the NBA Finals.
The Lakers went to the free-throw line 35 times in Game 4, and are making a concerted effort to get to the rim and put pressure on the Nuggets’ defense. If the Lakers are able to get to the rim consistently, they will likely send the Nuggets packing.
Lakers End Season For Nuggets
The Nuggets have made a habit of recovering from a 3-1 series deficit in the playoffs, but they can’t expect the same thing to happen against the Lakers. Denver is simply overmatched, and it’s hard to see it winning one more game.
Los Angeles has still not put together a complete game in this series, but it just has way too much talent for Denver. Look for the Lakers to be locked in for Game 5 as they will send the Denver Nuggets home.
The Lakers want some time off before the NBA Finals, and they get it after winning Game 5. Bet the Los Angeles Lakers -6.0 over the Denver Nuggets.