The scorching hot Denver Nuggets will head to Los Angeles for a battle at Staples Center with the Clippers on Saturday night. Every last eyeball should be on this contest. The winner will stay ahead in the standings, with Denver having an opportunity to jump up into the #3 seed. On Friday night, the Phoenix Suns beat the Utah Jazz by 21 to tie them for the best record in the West.
The NBA season has been full of intrigue, and now we get another high-stakes battle between two clubs that probably do not like each other very much. In the bubble, the Clippers blew three games to one lead in round two, continuing to show that the franchise still has not a clue how to reach the conference finals. They still haven’t yet a single time in their long existence. Over 50 years.
Denver lost Jamal Murray for a year last month, but they have not missed a beat. They brought in Shaquille Harrison and Austin Rivers for guard depth, as Monte Morris has also been out. Rivers calls this the best situation he has ever been in, while Harrison has provided quality defensive minutes. Michael Porter Jr. has stepped into the #2 role behind Nikola Jokic and is playing incredible basketball.
The spread for the game is currently set at LAC -4.5. The over/under is 223.5 points.
Nuggets Seeking Critical Victory
Picking up big wins has been the Nuggets’ way of life for the past several years. Mike Malone just picked up his 300th career head-coaching win in the NBA, a celebration ensued in the locker room to follow, led by Jokic. When the star player is that happy for his coach, you can tell that they have a terrific rapport, which has helped them get better and better.
This will mark the fourth year in a row that Denver has a winning record and their third straight trip to the postseason. Even with the massive injuries that they have had to deal with, they have got a lot of talent on the roster and are ready to try and make another run in the postseason.
Aaron Gordon replaced Jerami Grant after coming over at the deadline and has been a perfect fit for the Nuggets.
Clippers Look to Secure No. 3 Seed
A win from the Clippers would put them 1.5 games up on Denver for the third seed with just a few weeks left in the season. A loss would drop them to #4 and into a possible opening-round matchup with the Lakers. Could you imagine that? Lakers-Clippers in round one, let alone round three?
Nobody expected Utah and Phoenix to BOTH be 45-18 at this point, but here they are. Because that’s their circumstance, they are probably alone in battling for the top spot. The Clippers are two games out of the #1 record, and Denver is 2.5 games out. But watching either of the clubs ahead of them frequently lose down the stretch is unlikely.
Nuggets Pick up the Major W
The Nuggets will head to Staples and leave with a win while covering the spread. The new #3 seed!
Free Play: DEN +4.5
Over/Under: Under 223.5
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