NBA Basketball Opening Lines, Odds & Totals for April 3, 2011 Written by Nate Steele Sunday, 03 April 2011 06:30
Sunday NBA Opening Odds
(The Spread) – The Los Angeles Lakers try to keep their winning ways going Sunday afternoon as their push for the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs continues with a 3:30PM EST start against the Denver Nuggets.
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Los Angeles is now 55-20 overall and are riding a nine-game winning streak, having lost just once since the All-Star break. The Lakers are 29-8 at home and now just 1.5 games back of San Antonio in the Western Conference. Denver is 46-29 overall, but just 15-22 on the road. The Nuggets sit fifth in the conference.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGLOBAL.com have made the Lakers a 7-point favorite and the over-under is 202.5. The game will air live on ABC.
According to latest NBA trends, Denver is 9-7 against the spread versus the Lakers over the last three seasons. Los Angeles is 9-7 straight up against Denver over the last three seasons. Eleven of 16 games in this series have gone under the total over the last three seasons.
Kobe Bryant leads Los Angeles with a 25.2 points per game average, while Denver’s Danilo Galinari has averaged 15.2 points in nine games since being acquired in the Carmelo Anthony deal.
In other NBA action, the New York Knicks host the Cleveland Cavaliers at 6:00PM EST. The Knicks are an 11.5-point favorite and the over-under is 216. Miami is home against New Jersey at 6:00PM EST. The Heat are 11-point favorites and the over-under is 198. The Boston Celtics entertain the Detroit Pistons at 6:00PM EST. The Celtics are 11-point favorites, while the over-under is 185.
NBA Basketball Opening Odds & Over/Under Totals
503 Denver Nuggets +7 (202.5)
504 Los Angeles Lakers -7
507 Cleveland Cavaliers +11.5 (216)
508 New York Knicks -11.5
511 Miami Heat -11 (198)
512 New Jersey Nets +11
513 Detroit Pistons +11 (185.5)
514 Boston Celtics -11
517 Indiana Pacers +5 (189.5)
518 New Orleans Hornets -5
519 Atlanta Hawks +5.5 (200.5)
520 Houston Rockets -5.5
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Yeah, it would be nice if the Celtics earned home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, but it may not matter.
If the Celtics are on top of their game, they can beat anyone. If they’re not, they could lose to anyone. They’ve already proven that.
Consider this: They’ve lost as many games to the two worst teams in the Eastern Conference as they’ve lost to the top four teams in both conferences combined. They’re 3-2 against Washington and Cleveland, and 8-2 against Chicago, Miami, San Antonio and the Lakers. They’ve also won on the road against the Heat, Spurs and Lakers and could win at Chicago Thursday night.
When the Celtics won the NBA championship three years ago, they got up not only for every game, but for every practice. This season, they’ve let down against inferior competition, especially after grabbing leads.
Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and Glen Davis play better in big games and they don’t get any bigger than the playoffs. If Rondo and Pierce are motivated and Shaquille O’Neal can score in the paint, the Celtics will be tough to beat. And the aging Celtics won’t have to play on back-to-back nights in the playoffs. Losses at Indiana and Atlanta last week dropped them to 3-10 when they play on the road on the second of back-to-back nights.
As strange as it sounds, the Celtics may be better off finishing second in the conference and playing Miami in the second round, rather than finishing first and facing Orlando and Dwight Howard in the second round. With the Celtics no longer having Kendrick Perkins, Zaza Pachulia hurt them in the paint Friday in Atlanta. So imagine what Howard would do. On the other hand, the Heat have no middle.
The Celtics have waited all season for their big men to get healthy. Well, they might as well give up waiting. They’re probably not ever going to be completely healthy this season.
First, Perkins opened the season rehabilitating his surgically repaired knee. Then Jermaine O’Neal hurt his knee and Shaq hurt his foot. J.O. returned Thursday at San Antonio, but that same night Nenad Krstic hurt his knee. Shaq may play tonight against Detroit for the first time since Feb. 1.
How effective the O’Neals will be or how long they can stay healthy, no one knows. But if Krstic is out — he’s day to day after an MRI yesterday revealed a bone bruise — the Celtics could be left with the O’Neals and the height-challenged Davis in the middle. Even if Krstic didn’t hurt his knee, how much he would have played in the playoffs was up for debate. The former Thunder center hasn’t been effective for awhile.
Only the most optimistic Celtics fans still believe Boston can catch Chicago for the top spot in the conference. The focus has shifted to securing the conference’s No. 2 seed. Entering Chicago’s game against Toronto last night, the Celtics trailed the Bulls by three games and second-place Miami by half a game. The Celtics have seven regular-season games left. Chicago and Miami both have six remaining.
The Celtics must play their final seven games in 11 days, never a good idea for a team as old as it is. The Celtics host Detroit at 6 tonight, host the Sixers Tuesday, visit Chicago Thursday, host Washington Friday, visit Miami a week from today, visit Washington the following night and conclude the regular season at home against the Knicks on Wednesday, April 13. So they play twice more on back-to-back nights, facing the Wizards each time.
Miami’s remaining schedule is much easier than Boston’s. After visiting New Jersey today, Miami hosts Milwaukee, Charlotte and the Celtics, then visits Atlanta and Toronto. The Celtics have four games left against playoff teams, the Heat only two.
If the Celtics finish strong and win at Miami, they could grab the No. 2 seed. But would they be better off limiting the minutes of their starters for the remainder of the regular season to stay fresh for the playoffs? That’s what Celtics coach Doc Rivers must answer. Rivers must also play the O’Neals enough to develop a rhythm, but not too much to risk re-injuring themselves.
The Celtics have gone 6-8 in their last 14 games. On the other hand, Chicago has won 17 of its last 20 and Miami has won 10 of its last 12. But the Bulls somehow did manage to suffer only their fifth home loss of the season Monday against the Sixers and the Heat lost Tuesday at lowly Cleveland, a humiliating defeat for former Cav LeBron James.
If the Celtics finish with the same record as Chicago or Miami, the first tiebreaker is head-to-head record. The Celtics have already won the season series against Miami and could wrap up the season series against the Bulls by winning in Chicago Thursday. If the Bulls win Thursday, the series would end tied, 2-2. The Celtics lead the second tiebreaker, winning percentage in the conference. Entering last night, the Celtics were 33-12, while Miami and Chicago were both 33-13.
If all three teams finished tied, the first tiebreaker is winning percentage in games among the tied teams. Boston is 6-1 with two games left and Chicago is 4-2 with one game left. Miami is 0-6 against Boston and Chicago with one game left.
The Celtics will most likely open the playoffs against Philadelphia or New York. If they somehow earned the No. 1 seed, they’d probably face Indiana or Charlotte. Milwaukee has only an outside chance of grabbing the No. 8 seed.
It would be interesting if the Celtics faced the Knicks because they finish the regular-season against them. That game might mean nothing to Boston’s seed, but it could determine New York’s. Boston is 3-0 vs. New York.
The Celtics are 2-1 against the Sixers with a home game left against them Tuesday. They went 2-1 against Indiana, 2-2 vs. Charlotte and 3-0 vs. Milwaukee.
Murphy a nonfactor
Celtics fans were excited when Troy Murphy decided to sign with Boston instead of Miami March 2 after Golden State released him. No one really cares anymore.
Murphy hasn’t played since spraining his right ankle in practice March 24, but he contributed very little in the 11 games he played for the Celtics before that, averaging 2.3 points and 2.6 rebounds. The Celtics signed the 6-foot-11 Murphy to hit 3-pointers, but he’s missed all seven of his attempts from beyond the arc for Boston, dropping him to 4 of 30 this season.
Murphy has made 39 percent of his 3-point attempts in his 10 NBA seasons, but he has played only 29 games this year and hasn’t developed a rhythm. In his last five games with Boston, he didn’t even attempt a 3-point shot.
Murphy could resurrect in the playoffs the way Nate Robinson did last year, but right now it looks as if Rivers won’t include him in his playoff rotation.
Krstic, Green inconsistent
Still learning the plays, Krstic (9.3 points, 5.6 rebounds) and Jeff Green (10.1 points, 2.4 rebounds) have been inconsistent since joining the Celtics from Oklahoma City Feb. 24. Neither of the players whom the Thunder acquired has posted great numbers either. Perkins averaged 5.8 points and 7.6 rebounds in his first 10 games with the Thunder after returning from a knee injury, less than he averaged in his 12 games this season with Boston (7.3 points, 8.1 rebounds). Robinson has averaged three points in just two games for Oklahoma City.
But so far the Thunder have reacted to the trade much better than the Celtics. Oklahoma City went 14-2 in March before losing Friday in Portland.
At 50-25 entering last night’s game against the Clippers, the Thunder’s record trailed Boston’s by only two games. When the trade was made Feb. 24, the Celtics were 41-14 and the Thunder was 36-20. Since then, the Celtics have gone 11-9 and the Thunder 14-5 even though Perkins and Robinson were sidelined with injuries for a few weeks.
Bill Doyle can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
Bogut stars for Bucks Updated: 17:20, Sunday April 3, 2011
Andrew Bogut scored 10 points and hauled down 11 rebounds as Milwaukee finished strongly to score a 93-87 overtime NBA win over Philadelphia.
The victory, earned despite the Bucks missing a three-pointer on the buzzer of regulation, keeps Milwaukee’s slim finals hopes alive.
The Bucks are now three and a half games behind Indiana for the eighth and final place in the Eastern Conference with six games remaining.
Elsewhere, Chicago has taken another step towards top spot in the NBA’s Eastern Conference by notching their 15th win in 17 games against Toronto on Saturday.
Derrick Rose notched 36 points and 10 assists for the Bulls, who defeated the short-handed Raptors 113-106 to open a three game lead over nearest rivals Miami in the Conference race.
Chicago are also now within one win over the NBA’s best overall record, currently held by San Antonio, and the victory means Tom Thibodeau has broken legendary coach Phil Jackson’s club record for most wins in the first year at the helm.
In Oakland, Golden State’s 99-92 win over Dallas has hurt the Mavericks’ hopes of moving to second in the Western Conference.
At the other end of the Western Conference’s playoff race, Zach Randolph’s 22 points helped Memphis to a 106-89 win over Minnesota and into seventh spot in the finals chase.
The loss was Minnesota’s 10th straight defeat.
In the day’s other result, the Los Angeles Clippers edged Oklahoma 98-92.
PURPLE-BLOODED Sydney Kings general manager Bob Turner expects US-bound centre Julian Khazzouh to return to Australia next season with intimate knowledge of what it takes to become the next Luc Longley in the NBA.
Khazzouh, who has already signed with the Kings for 2011-12, leaves this week for Los Angeles, where he will meet his agent and travel to several cities for trials with NBA franchises. It will be an eye-opener for the 209-centimetre 25-year-old.
”Julian’s great for Australia because he’s rangy and a good athlete,” Turner said.
”To go the NBA, he’d have to be [18 kg] heavier and just as agile. So the idea is to really just expose himself to those teams and understand what those guys do to reach that level. For instance, when Luc Longley came out of college he was a very slight centre. When he finished his career he was a seven-foot-two [215cm] man-mountain. He learned how to build his body and Julian would have to learn about that too.
”Unless something spectacular happens, we expect Julian to be a King next year. But if something did happen for him over there, it would be great for him, great for the game and great for Australia. He would join Andrew Bogut and Pat Mills on the world stage.”
The Kings ended their season on Friday night with a disappointing 96-79 loss to the Gold Coast Blaze. It consigned them to the wooden spoon, with eight wins and 20 losses.
Nevertheless, they continued to draw healthy crowds all season, including a bumper 9535 on Friday for the season swansong.
”Despite losses all year, including a 14-game losing streak, people voted that they like what we have to offer and they have a good time,” Turner said.
”There’s a lot of history and we’ve got back to the things that built the Kings – affordability, community, family – the things they stopped doing in the last decade.”
With the season over, the signings begin. ”There’s a lot of players we want to keep from this campaign,” Turner said.
”You’ve got to build stability and uniformity. From 20 years ago, people still remember names like Keogh, Morrissey, Dalton, Carfino and company.
”We’re trying to get back to that with Khazzouh, Ben Madgen, Luke Martin, Graeme Dann – young quality players who you add to with your imports.
”The first piece was securing Moose [coach Ian Robilliard]. Now we’re in the process of talking to our players and their agents about contracts. We hope to make some signings [from our own roster] in the next two weeks.”
It was fitting that Phil Jackson was in the building when the Utah Jazz’s playoff hopes for the 2010-11 season officially ended.
No, this time it wasn’t Jackson’s team that was completely responsible for ending the Jazz’s season, which his Lakers have done the last three seasons, and his Chicago Bulls did twice in the NBA Finals. Jackson just happened to be in the building this time when Utah’s postseason hopes were officially doomed.
No opposing coach has been a bigger thorn in Utah’s side than Jackson. And he most likely made his final appearance in EnergySolutions Arena in L.A.’s 96-85 victory over the Jazz on Friday night. Jackson has said this will be his last season — a final stand, as he puts it — as the Lakers’ coach before he retires to his cabin in Montana.
The significance of Jackson’s probable final appearance in Salt Lake City wasn’t lost on the L.A. media before Friday’s game. Jackson was asked about the battles he had in EnergySolutions Arena, and knowing that he’s gotten the better of the Jazz more often than not, the longtime coach smiled.
“This is in my zone of comfort,” Jackson said. “I may just drive down here and see a game some time.”
I’m guessing he wouldn’t receive the standing ovation Jazz legend John Stockton got from both Utah Jazz and L.A. Laker fans on Friday night if he decides to make the drive.
I’ve only been among Jackson’s meetings with the media a handful of times, and they are enjoyable. He can be arrogant and condescending, and I’m strangely entertained by it. He seems to believe he’s the smartest person in the room, and you can’t really blame him when he’s been at the top of his profession as often as he has. Jackson has won more titles than anyone in NBA history with 11, and a 12th is looking more likely as the season progresses.
Another title would give Jackson an unprecedented fourth three-peat as a head coach. Regardless of how you feel about him, that is an amazing accomplishment.
It’s a lot bigger deal than being named Western Conference Coach of the Month, which Jackson earned for March. When he was asked about the honor before Friday’s game, he replied, “I was thrilled” to learn of it. On a sarcasm meter of 1-10, Jackson’s response was 162. It was great.
One of Jackson’s qualities that has been illuminated in recent years is that he just doesn’t care what people think. While just about every other coach in the league will say no comment to matters that don’t involve their team, Jackson will usually answer what is asked. He’s fearless — and funny.
By Ethan J. Skolnick
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All arenas are the same, right?
Isn’t what we learned from Hoosiers?
Not for a shooter.
Mike Miller didn’t like the old Nets building, at the Meadowlands, because it was cold and big and “you just felt like the hoop was just floating in there.”
James Jones dreads the dates at ARCO Arena in Sacramento, but, with the Kings likely moving to Anaheim, he might not need to worry about those anymore.
If the Heat plays the Knicks in the first round, neither player will mind much. Both like the theater lighting at Madison Square Garden.
“That’s the best,” Miller said. “You get the best depth perception.”
“When the court becomes center attraction, center stage, and everything else is dimly lit, that’s what you want,” Jones said.
Jones also welcomes visits to Staples Center in Los Angeles, Golden State’s Oracle Arena in Oakland and the Rose Garden in Portland.
“They have black seats in the background,” Jones said. “Dark background, the rim stands out to where it doesn’t blend into the seats.
“Our arena, if the seats are empty, is a tough spot to shoot in.”
That’s because it’s busy, with the orange and yellow décor.
“When the seats are full, it’s a nice spot,” Jones said.
In other words, arrive on time.
Jones said the “White Hot” color scheme during the playoffs works for him, too.
“You can still see,” Jones said. “The white is like black, it’s clear. You can see the basket.”
What does Miller think of his new home court?
“I’d love if they could shut the lights off,” he said. “But no, it’s not bad. … It’s all right.”
No love for the Wizards
The Heat arrived in Washington last week with a strange distinction. Miami had two players on its roster, Mike Bibby and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who had negotiated buyouts with the Wizards in the past year in order to earn their freedom.
Ilgauskas worked one out last February, after Cleveland included him in its trade for Antawn Jamison. Miller was excited.
“Cool, I’ll have ‘Z’ as a teammate,” Miller said. “Then I was told, ‘Uh, he’s not staying.’ ”
Ilgauskas never played a game for the Wizards and ultimately returned to the Cavaliers.
He laughed before Wednesday’s game when informed that now he likely would never have his jersey retired in the Verizon Center. Then he made sure of it, getting in a confrontation with Wizards rookie guard John Wall, getting ejected and making obscene gestures (with both biceps) to earn a $35,000 NBA fine that he appealed. Any regrets? “No,” he said.
Intro a no-go for LeBron
Much was made of LeBron James skipping introductions Tuesday night in Cleveland, as if he didn’t want to hear the boos. But this was not the first time this season he had done so. He also was not part of the intros in Chicago and at home against Houston. Apparently, he has a bathroom ritual in which he returns to the locker room after warm-ups.
And that’s officially more information than you needed.
Quote of the week
“Buckets!” – LeBron James, lying on his stomach, getting stretched, while playing a basketball video game on his iPod before the win over Washington.
Tweet of the week
“Who likes my new rough and rugged lumberjack look?” – @DWadeOfficial, on the beard he has been growing.
Heat games this week
Tonight: at New Jersey, 6 p.m., Sun Sports
Are the playoffs here yet? Another dreary schedule for the Heat this week. The most interesting thing about the Nets at this point is the play of point guard Deron Williams, but he has been limited by a right wrist injury. He has played the past two games after missing six. Since joining New Jersey, the former Utah star is averaging only 14.4 points, but his assist numbers (12.0 per game) are robust.
Wednesday: vs. Milwaukee, 8 p.m.,
ESPN and Sun Sports
The Bucks are in 10th place in the East with almost no chance to make the playoffs. They, too, have one player to watch: Remember Michael Redd? The 31-year-old shooting guard used to be one of the league’s elite scorers, but he has been sidelined with knee injuries for most of the past two-plus years. He returned to action Monday and is trying to mount a comeback.
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty ImagesLakers coach Phil Jackson, left, talks with former longtime assistant Tex Winter before Game 2 of the 2010 NBA Finals, when Winter was honored with the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award.
Kobe Bryant weighed in on Winter’s candidacy when it was announced in February, having spent time with him when Winter was a Lakers special assistant coach.
“I don’t know how he’s not in the Hall of Fame. That’s just disgraceful,” Bryant said in February. “He should have been in the Hall of Fame a long time ago.”
Winter was named to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in February 2010 and received the John Bunn Award from the Naismith Hall of Fame in 1998, recognizing him as an important contributor to the game, but not honoring him in the Hall as a coach.
“His coaching record was impeccable,” Jackson said in June 2010, when Winter was presented with the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award. “For the first 20 years of basketball that he coached he was one of the top coaches ever in the game.
“But he served as president of the NABC, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, which is the NCAA Coaches Association. For a number of years he was on their advisory board. And I used to kid him that all the people that would have voted him in the Hall of Fame had passed away, so he had nobody to vouch for him at that time.
“And the new breed that came in were saying he was an assistant coach, but Tex wasn’t just any assistant coach, that’s for sure.”
Winter and Rodman, the flamboyant rebounder who won two NBA titles with Detroit and three more with Winter and the Bulls — are among 12 finalists for the Hall of Fame this year, along with former NBA stars Jamaal Wilkes, Maurice Cheeks, Chris Mullin and Ralph Sampson, five-time Olympian Teresa Edwards, Stanford women’s coach Tara VanDerveer, former NBA coach Dick Motta, Philadelphia University coach Herb Magee, college referee Hank Nichols, and Al Attles, the current vice president and assistant general manager of the Golden State Warriors.
To be inducted, finalists must receive at least 18 votes from a 24-member committee.
Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Dave McMenamin and The Associated Press was used in this report.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Oklahoma City grabs a much-needed power forward at No. 24 with Maryland’s Jordan Williams coming off the board
Jordan Williams toiled in relative obscurity last season despite averaging a double-double in one of the most storied conferences in America.
During his two seasons at Maryland, he showed dramatic improvement in terms of condition and consistency.
After averaging nearly 17 points and 12 rebounds as a sophomore, Williams ranks as one of the best big men in the draft.
The Oklahoma City Thunder haven’t had much luck drafting big men, but taking Williams would be a step in the right direction.
A legit 6-10, he has a smooth offensive game to compliment Serge Ibaka’s rugged style of play.
The Thunder need to win and win now, before Russell Westbrook moves west to greener financial pastures.
Pro Projection: Williams has enough overall ability to become a solid starter in the NBA. In the right system, he could be a David West or Carlos Boozer type contributor.
Not bad for a mid-1st round pick.
No matter where he lands, Williams is one of the safest picks on the entire board in 2011.
For more draft analysis, check out Bleacher Report’s NBA Draft Hub
Most recent updates:
- 2011 NBA Mock Draft: Chicago Bulls Add Nolan Smith for Depth Behind D Rose
- 2011 NBA Mock Draft: Boston Celtics Draft Potential with Jeremy Tyler at No. 26
- 2011 NBA Mock Draft: Dallas Mavericks Go West to Nab Malcolm Lee at No. 27
- View all updates
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
The Bulls take a chance of the versatile Florida Gator with pick No. 29 of the 2011 NBA Draft
Chandler Parsons never seemed to locate the weight room in Gainesville, but his overall talent level should lift his NBA draft stock into the 1st round.
Frankly, Parsons is lucky the 2011 Draft class appears to be one of the weakest in recent memory.
During his collegiate career, Parsons was a solid yet unspectacular player. His overall ability was often hidden by a reluctance to assert himself into the offense.
As he showed throughout the NCAA Tournament, he has outstanding play-making skills for a player of his size.
NBA scouts love wing players who can run a pick-and-roll attack, which should ensure Parsons doesn’t stay on the board too long.
Pro Projection: Parsons is very similar to former Butler star Gordon Hayward, only he lacks the assertiveness needed to produce big numbers.
His pro basketball outlook hinges upon his willingness to hit the weights and bulk up.
Few NBA head coaches would be thrilled with idea of throwing Parson’s to the wolves and asking him to stop bigger and stronger opponents.
You can’t hide those tiny muscles behind a t-shirt in the NBA, Chandler.
For more draft coverage, check out Bleacher Report’s NBA Draft hub
Most recent updates:
- 2011 NBA Mock Draft: Spurs Settle for Kyle Singler at End of 1st Round
- View all updates
The Los Angeles Lakers have gone 17-1 SU after the all-star break.
Two Western Conference playoff teams collide on the pro basketball hardwood Sunday when the Denver Nuggets visit Los Angeles to play the Lakers during the second game of an ABC-TV doubleheader. Tip-off from Staples Center is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. (PT).
The Nuggets appear to have a lock on the fifth seed, which would translate into a first-round series with Oklahoma City.
The Lakers have been the hottest team in the NBA since the All-Star Break, and they are quickly moving to overtake San Antonio atop the Western Conference standings. The two-time defending champion Lakers are now just 1 ½ games behind the Spurs with seven games remaining.
These two teams are hoping to avoid any key injuries heading into the postseason. Denver has posted a 14-4 SU ledger since the Carmelo Anthony trade, while Los Angeles is 17-1 SU since hosting the All-Star Game.
Denver is riding a five-game SU winning streak (3-1-1 ATS) after Friday’s 99-90 victory over Sacramento as a five-point road favorite. The combined 199 points never seriously threatened the 217 ½-point closing total, helping the ‘under’ improve to 7-1 in Denver’s previous eight outings.
The Nuggets took control of the contest by outscoring the Kings in the third quarter, 31-16. Denver finished the game with advantages in rebounding, 45-41, assists, 23-19, and points in the paint, 58-48. The Nuggets shot a solid 49 percent (39-of-80) from the field, and 29 percent (4-of-14) from behind the arc.
Point guard Raymond Felton scored 14 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, while power forward Kenyon Martin added 14. Center Nene contributed 12 and 12 rebounds in the victory, while shooting guard Arron Afflalo had 11 and five. Denver has now gone 19-7-1 ATS its last 27 games overall.
Los Angeles continued its winning ways by beating Utah Friday as an eight-point road ‘chalk,’ 96-85. The Lakers have now covered their last three games, while the combined 181 points went ‘under’ the 193 ½-point closing total.
Los Angeles found itself trailing the Jazz by 17 points in the first half, but stormed back for the road victory. The Lakers won despite trailing Utah in rebounding, 44-39, and points in the paint, 50-38. Los Angeles shot 48 percent (34-of-71) from the field, and 39 percent (7-of-18) from 3-point land.
Power forward Lamar Odom scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds off the bench, while shooting guard Kobe Bryant paced the offense with 21. Power forward Pau Gasol provided 16 and nine in the victory, while point guard Derek Fisher netted 15. The Lakers are 7-2 ATS their previous nine games versus Northwest Division opponents.
Los Angeles and Denver have split two earlier games this season, with each club covering the spread once. The Nuggets prevailed Nov. 11 as a three-point home underdog, 118-112, while the Lakers won Jan. 21 as a one-point road ‘chalk,’ 107-97. The ‘under’ is 14-5 the past 19 meetings in this series.
The Don Best Sports injury report lists Denver center Melvin Ely (personal), forward Al Harrington (Achilles) and guard Arron Afflalo (hamstring) as “questionable,” while forward Chris Andersen (ankle) is “doubtful.” Los Angeles forward Lamar Odom (flu) and forward Matt Barnes (suspension served) are “probable” against the Nuggets.
The Nuggets return home after this game to play Oklahoma City before traveling to face Dallas and the Thunder. The Lakers host Utah following this contest before embarking on a two-game road trip against Golden State and Portland.