Following a controversial win at home on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Lakers (29-35) will travel to the Mile High City on Friday to try and go ahead in the season series against the Denver Nuggets (35-30).
It’s been over three months since these two teams last met, but it’s a game I’m sure both the fans and the players have been looking forward to considering their last matchup didn’t exactly end on the friendliest of terms.
Jamal Murray admitted some fault for his late game antics shortly after the game, but that didn’t stop Lakers fans from flooding his mentions.
First time got this much hate lol, we just playin ball— Jamal Murray (@BeMore27) December 3, 2017
Murray will be a game time decision on Friday after exiting Wednesday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers with an apparent head injury in the fourth quarter. While he didn’t go through the NBA’s concussion protocol, the Nuggets could still choose to play it safe considering Murray’s history with head injuries.
Murray poured on 28 points on 5-of-8 shooting from behind the arc when the Nuggets beat the Lakers in December, so if he is sidelined for Friday’s action, the Lakers surely won’t mind.
The Nuggets have struggled to find their footing since returning from the All-Star break, going 3-4 in their last seven games, despite having four-time All-Star Paul Millsap back in the rotation. Millsap has missed 45 games this season after suffering a wrist injury in December, ironically against the Lakers.
With Millsap and Nikola Jokic up front for Denver, Los Angeles will have their hands full especially because the Lakers are short on healthy bodies. Hopefully Millsap and Jokic put up a dud like they did in their first matchup with LA, only combining for 11 points.
The key for the Lakers going into this one is going to turnovers. Denver does a poor job of taking care of the ball, averaging 15.3 times per game this season, and the Lakers like to get out in transition. If the Lakers can manage their own turnover woes, they already have an advantage.
They also need to keep Denver off the boards. Denver averages 11.2 offensive rebounds per game and as a result average 13.9 second chance points per game. The Lakers are also a strong rebounding team, but might not have Julius Randle, the team’s leading rebounder, at full strength.
Head coach Luke Walton said Julius Randle was feeling under the weather on Wednesday, so it will be interesting to see how he looks on Friday.
Enjoy the game!
Time: 6 p.m. PT
TV: Spectrum SportsNet