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Game of the day: Denver Nuggets at L.A. Lakers

Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers (-5, 205.5)

The woes of the Los Angeles Lakers haven’t ended with the hiring of Mike D’Antoni as coach. Los Angeles has lost three of its last four games entering Friday’s contest against the Denver Nuggets after a substandard shooting performance in Tuesday’s 79-77 loss to the Indiana Pacers. Denver has lost back-to-back games, including a 106-105 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Thursday. The Nuggets have blown 16-point leads in each of the defeats.

Los Angeles shot just 31.6 percent (24-of-76) from the field and 53.5 percent from the free-throw line in the loss to Indiana. Kobe Bryant had 40 points and 10 rebounds but also committed 10 turnovers. Bryant hit 5 of 11 3-point attempts while the rest of the Lakers were a combined 1-of-17. Denver’s one-point loss to the Warriors was excruciating in that not only did the Nuggets blew a 16-point lead, but Andre Iguodala’s apparent game-winning 3-point basket was reviewed and found to have left his hands after the buzzer sounded.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, Altitude (Denver), Time Warner Cable SportsNet (Los Angeles)

ABOUT THE NUGGETS (8-8, 10-6 ATS):
The back-to-back collapses are keeping Denver from being at the 10-win mark. Instead, the Nuggets are at .500 and sit four games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Northwest Division. Denver is 4-7 on the road after the loss to Golden State, and coach George Karl knew there was nothing to contest after the officials ruled Iguodala’s shot was late. “It seems like the clock started early for me,” Karl said. “There’s nothing to argue about. The camera says it’s in his hands.”

ABOUT THE LAKERS (7-8, 6-9 ATS):
Forward Pau Gasol had just 10 points on 2-of-9 shooting against the Pacers and is averaging just 9.3 points over the past four games. Gasol isn’t a good fit in D’Antoni’s system and he also says he is being bothered by tendinitis in both knees. “I’m going to play through it and you try to keep it under control,” Gasol said. “It’s a little limiting, but it is what it is. There’s nothing I can do about it. Hopefully, it won’t force me to miss any games unless my performance is way down.”

TRENDS:

* Under is 9-3 in the last 12 meetings in Los Angeles.
* Under is 23-8 in the last 31 meetings.
* Nuggets are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games playing on zero rest.
* Lakers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall.

BUZZER BEATERS:
 
1. The Lakers are 20-4 against the Nuggets at the Staples Center.

2. Denver PG Ty Lawson has nine assists in four of the past five games.

3. Los Angeles F Metta World Peace is four 3-point baskets away from becoming the 68th player in NBA history to reach 1,000.

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