Two of the most exciting words in all of sports are: game seven. Tuesday night features a Western Conference showdown as the Denver Nuggets (3-3) take on the Los Angeles Clippers (3-3). The winner moves on to face the Lakers. Tipoff for this one is scheduled for 9:00 pm ET from the Advent Health Arena.
Facing elimination in Game 6, the Nuggets were able to pull out a 111-98 win to force a deciding Game 7.
In the victory, center Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray led the way for the Nuggets. Jokic went for 34 points, 14 rebounds, and 7 assists while Murray added 21 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds.
For the Clippers, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were the top producers in the loss. Leonard went for 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists. George led Los Angeles in scoring with 33 points while adding 6 rebounds and 3 assists.
The Clippers come into this one as huge favorites at -320. The Nuggets are +260 underdogs and the spread is L.A. -7.5. The betting total is 207.5.
By The Numbers
Offensively, the Clippers have been one of the best teams in the NBA this season. They ranked 4th in the NBA in points per game at 116.3. The Nuggets fell to 19th overall averaging 110.6 points per game.
On the defensive side, it is the Nuggets who hold the advantage. Denver ranks 11th in the NBA in points allowed per game at 109.3. The Clippers come in 14th in the league as they allowed 110 points per game to opponents.
Nuggets Looking For A Bit More Magic
Even though the Nuggets came into the postseason as the third seed in the Western Conference, not many expected they would be one game away from playing in the Western Conference Finals. Still, they have put themselves in that position and have shown that they are capable of beating the Clippers on any given night.
To beat L.A, though, they are going to need Nikola Jokic to continue to dominate. The center is averaging 26.1 points on 52.2% shooting in 13 games this season. He is also chipping in 9.9 rebounds and 5.5 assists.
In addition to Jokic, Jamal Murray has also made a name for himself this postseason. He is averaging 26.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game.
Other contributors for the Nuggets include Michael Porter Jr. (11.8 points, 6.9 rebounds), Jerami Grant (9.8 points), Monte Morris (8.8 points) and Paul Millsap (8.5 points, 4.2 rebounds).
Clippers Hope To Move Onto LA Matchup
Everyone expected that it would be an all-Los Angeles Western Conference Finals between the Clippers and Lakers. While the Lakers held up their end of the bargain, the Clippers are trying to hold up theirs.
As in all Game 7’s, the Clippers need their stars to step up, and that means all eyes will turn to Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. This postseason, Leonard has led the way for the Clippers averaging 29.4 points on 50.8% shooting in 12 games. He is also adding 9.6 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.3 steals per game.
George has also been fantastic, especially as of late. In 12 games this postseason, he is averaging 21.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.5 steals per game.
Taking The Nuggets And The Points
I am not sure if the Nuggets will walk away from this one victorious or not; however, I do like the spread they are getting in a Game 7. With the two teams having split the six games thus far, 7.5 points seems like a lot to spot the underdog.
Given that the over/under is set at 207.5, it seems even less likely that this one turns into a blowout. Again, I wouldn’t blame you if you took the Clippers straight up, but for my money, I am taking the Nuggets +7.5.