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3 bold predictions for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets matchup

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will play against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets on Monday. Both teams won their previous games and are looking to capitalize on their momentum to continue their streak. 

The Lakers have won five games in a row, thanks to the outstanding plays of James. In their last match, against the Sacramento Kings, the 38-year-old forward dropped 37 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists. He had help from some of the starters. Dennis Schroder and Thomas Bryant scored 27 and 29, respectively. The Nuggets are on a two-game win streak, with Jokic having a monster triple-double in their last game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The reigning MVP had 28 points, 15 rebounds, and ten assists to will his team to victory.

In that regard, we have three predictions on what could happen in their bout. The two teams have been on hot streaks recently, making their matchup a must-watch. The clash between The Joker and King James will surely be a treat for the fans.

Related: LeBron James scoring record tracker

LeBron James to pace Los Angeles Lakers with 40

los angeles lakers, denver nuggets bold predictions: lebron james
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

James has been on a scoring rampage recently. Since he turned 38 back in late December, the 18-time All-Star has shown his skillset in scoring for everyone. He’s averaged 38 points, nine rebounds, and 8.3 assists over the past four games. The Laker forward has also shot well on the floor during that four-game span, making 58% of his shots. The team is counting on LeBron to do more heavy lifting due to Anthony Davis’ injury. The last time the team played against the Nuggets, Davis got injured and only played 17 minutes.

This time, Los Angeles is short-handed, but they still have the four-time MVP playing at an all-time level. In their bout against Denver, James will likely have another 40-point performance as he battles the top-seeded team in the Western Conference. He’ll also flirt with a triple-double to try and get the victory, which is a typical night for King James. The Akron native will do most things for the team based on who’s on the roster for the Lakers.

Related: Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers standing in Sportsnaut’s NBA power rankings

Nikola Jokic will snatch his 11th triple-double

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Nuggets have snatched the top seed in the West due to Jokic’s leadership on the court. In their last game, the two-time MVP led his team to their 26th of the season. The Serbian center has been averaging a triple-double in his past ten games. He’s averaging 25.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 10.8 assists while shooting 59.4% of his field goals and 52.4% of his threes. Jokic could win his third MVP award with how he’s been playing this season.

Based on his game logs, he’s been able to notch triple-doubles against some of the better teams around the association. That is why getting his 11th triple-double against the Lakers could be possible. Los Angeles lacks a defensive big man to stop the four-time All-Star in his rampage down the post. Additionally, Denver has a more well-rounded roster this season, with Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. back in the lineup. The Lakers could struggle to stop Jokic, as they lack reasonable defensive players in their roster.

Russell Westbrook comes up big, gives the Los Angeles Lakers their sixth straight win

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The past few games have been kind to Russell Westbrook, as he’s been able to contribute a ton for the Lakers. In their most recent contest against the Kings, Westbrook was a massive factor in the team’s winning. The star guard had 23 points, five rebounds, and 15 assists as he came off the bench for the team. Since he started being the team’s full-time sixth man, he’s been playing a different brand of basketball compared to last season. Russ can now control the pace of the offense that fits well with his style of play.

For their bout against Denver, Westbrook is the best player that could help James win the game. He’s a bit slower but is still passionate and can wreak havoc on the court if the defenses relax. In his recent games, the 2017 MVP has been shooting better from beyond the arc, which most people have ignored. In the past nine games, the nine-time All-Star has been shooting over 32% of his shots from the three. It’s not impressive, but it’s better than his performance from the previous campaign. 

Westbrook could have his fourth triple-double of the season against the Nuggets. With Davis’ absence, the team will have to expect big things from the All-Star guard to keep their streak alive.