The daily preview muscles into the paint with NBA tips as LA Lakers attempt to get back on track against a flying Denver Nuggets line-up. 

NBA Tips – Los Angeles Lakers V Denver Nuggets

12:00 (AEST), Tue 4th May @ Staples Center, Los Angeles

History: Played 214: Lakers 134 V Nuggets 80

Last meeting: February 14, 2021: Nuggets 122 d Lakers 105 at Ball Arena

Final Thoughts: LA Lakers continue to slide down the Western Conference standings as injuries keep biting. It doesn’t get any easier today as they host the in-form Denver Nuggets.

The 36-28 Lakers have tumbled to seventh and are staring down the barrel of a play-in tournament foray. They have lost six of their last seven, despite the recent return of Anthony Davis and LeBron James.

James’ two games back have coincided with losses to the Kings (110-106) and Raptors (121-114). He reinjured his ankle in the latter defeat yesterday and will not be on deck to face the Nuggets. Dennis Schroder will miss his second straight game.

Third-placed Denver have improved to 43-21 – just three wins shy of the Suns and Jazz – with nine wins in their last 10 games.

Nikola Jokic (30 pts, 14 reb, 7 ast) dominated a 110-104 win over fellow heavyweights the Clippers two days ago. Michael Porter Jr (25 pts, 7 reb, 5 ast) also maintained his outstanding form.

Lakers with recent edge

The Lakers have won eight of their last 11 against the Nuggets, including a 4-1 triumph in last season’s Western Conference Finals.

But the ledger is square so far during the 2020-21 campaign. A LeBron triple-double (27 pts, 10 reb, 10 ast) underpinned the Lakers’ 114-93 home victory in early-February.

But Jokic (23 pts, 16 reb, 10 ast) returned the triple-double favour in Denver 10 days later as the Nuggets prevailed 122-105. James, meanwhile, finished just one assist short of another triple-double.

The Lakers are 17-15 at home his season – and just 12-20 against the line at Staples. The Nuggets are 19-11 on the road (16-15-1 ATS).

The Lakers are 4-4 on zero days’ rest – and without James it’s difficult envisioning the embattled champs slowing the Nuggets’ roll.

Tip: Handicap – Nuggets -5 @ $1.90

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