The daily preview muscles into the paint with NBA tips for a showdown between last season’s Western Conference finalists in Mile High City.

NBA Tips – Denver Nuggets V Los Angeles Lakers

14:00 (AEDT), Mon 15th Feb @ Pepsi Center, Denver

History: Played 213: Lakers 134 V Nuggets 79

Last meeting: February 4, 2021: Lakers 114 d Nuggets 93 at Staples Center

Final Thoughts: Denver Nuggets are running into some good form, but can they halt LA Lakers’ imposing streak?

The Lakers have won eight of the 10 encounters with the Nuggets since the start of last season – including a 4-1 result in the 2020 Western Conference Finals.

The rivals met earlier this month, with the Lakers carving out a 114-93 home win. LeBron James (27 pts, 10 reb, 10 ast) dominated with a triple-double, while Dennis Schroder (21 pts, 4 ast) contributed strongly. The Nuggets’ marquee man Nikola Jokic (13 pts, 9 reb, 6 ast) was blotted out by the Lakers’ top-shelf defence.

After a 6-1 finish to January, the defeat to the Lakers commenced a three-game slide for the Nuggets. But they have improved to 14-11 with back-to-back wins over the Cavaliers (133-95) and Thunder (97-95).

Denver shot at 60 percent to decimate Cleveland – including 16-of-36 three-point attempts. Jokic (22 pts, 13 reb, 9 ast) led the way in their comeback win in OKC, which saw the Nuggets overturn a 13-point halftime deficit.

Lakers digging deep

The 21-6 Lakers are on a seven-match tear. They endured three straight overtime games – a double OT win over the Pistons and consecutive overtime victories against the Thunder – in the space of five days before hosting the Grizzlies two days ago.

The champs looked on course for an upset loss when they trailed 20-2 early and by 13 at halftime. But they rallied to win (and cover) 115-105. After missing the Thunder double-header, Anthony Davis (35 pts, 9 reb) stepped up for the leg-weary Lakers, while LeBron (28 pts, 9 reb, 8 ast) showed few signs of fatigue and Kyle Kuzma (20 pts, 10 reb) came up big off the bench.

It’s been a heavy schedule for the Lakers, but they find ways to keep winning. They also boast a superb 12-2 record on the road, while the Nuggets are a modest 7-6 at home.

Denver’s hopes rest on Jokic breaking the Lakers’ shackles – which is easier said than done.

Tip: Handicap – Lakers -3.5 @ $1.95

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Charlotte Hornets V San Antonio SpursMargin – Pelicans 1-10 @ $2.72
Dallas Mavericks V Portland Trail BlazersHandicap – Mavericks -5 @ $1.90
Oklahoma City Thunder V Milwaukee BucksHandicap – Thunder +11.5 @ $1.90
Phoenix Suns V Orlando MagicTotal – Over 213.5 @ $1.90
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LA Clippers V Cleveland CavaliersMargin – Clippers 11-20 @ $2.98