The Denver Nuggets are the team that just won’t go away. And they are hoping that they can keep things going for themselves after Sunday afternoon, when they face off against the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 6 of the NBA’s Western Conference semi-finals. Game time is 1:05 PM ET at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex, and if you are a BetAnySports customer you should know that you can get reduced juice on this game, which will give you better odds, in addition to the ability to place wagers as the contest is in progress, with Sports Betting Prime.
The Nuggets really do come off like the team with nine lives. They were down three games to one against Utah in the first round of play, but roared back with three straight victories. And on Friday they came back from being down 16 points to stave off elimination.
So what do they do for an encore?
I almost forgot Michael Porter Jr. was a rookie. And sometimes he’s going to say some “rookie things.” He was critical of the coaching staff because he wanted the ball more. In fact, he did not see it very much at all in the second half of Game 4, after having a great first half with 15 points.
Then he did not score for a 46-minute period in Game 5. But that was not the end of the story, by any means. Porter sank a three-point shot with a little over a minute remaining to extend his team’s lead to five points. All told, he scored seven of Denver’s last nine points. Those were the only points he would score in the ballgame.
Here are the NBA betting odds for Game 6, as they are posted at BetAnySports:
Los Angeles Clippers -8.5
Denver Nuggets +8.5
Over 213.5 points -110
Under 213.5 points -110
Porter’s teammates and coaches are still not all that pleased with him. But that’s something they’ll probably discuss in more detail at a later date. What they want to do now is stay alive. And Paul Millsap, a veteran leader of this ensemble, valiantly kept things alive with fourteen points in the third quarter on Friday, which made the comeback possible.
Jamal Murray came through with 26 points in Game 5. Nikola Jokic had 22 points and 14 rebounds. This overcame monster output from Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who combined for 62 points. Lou Williams had just four points off the bench for the Clippers, and they will need more from him. he has averaged less than ten points during this series, on 35% shooting.
Murray has not been as red-hot as he was in the previous series against the Jazz. Yes, he has been hitting triples (42%), but he’s just 21 of 60 (35%) from two-point range. George, who had a horrific shooting slump as these playoffs began, has settled down and is making 42.5% of his attempts from downtown.
So we have two stars who have been off the mark in this series. Murray., who had scored 142 points in a three-game stretch against Utah, is averaging just 17.8 ppg here.
So is the question more a matter of who could conceivably bust out in Game 6? Or is it more about who can defend the other team’s big gun? The thing about the Clippers is that they have so much versatility on the defensive end. Let’s face it; when you have Leonard and George and Patrick Beverley, you can give an opponent a lot of different looks. And obviously they are doing something to keep Murray out of his rhythm. Part of what had gotten Porter upset was his feeling of frustration that the team was relying too much on the Jokic-Murray combination with regard to point production.
He may be right. And that is a critical factor in a game like this. Let’s look for the Clips to continue keeping Murray off-balance, and to avoid another collapse. We’ll lay the points.
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