The Denver Nuggets continue to hang on to the eighth spot in the Western Conference playoffs, but they have just a 1.5-game lead over the Utah Jazz, the team currently first out of the postseason. The Nuggets enter this game on a two-game winning streak with victories over the Golden State Warriors and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Danilo Gallinari returned two games ago, and he's not shown any rust, really. He did have a 4-of-11 shooting night in the first game, but he still scored 15 points. He followed that with 18 points (3-of-7 from beyond the arc) against the Timberwolves on Wednesday. Kenneth Faried has been a beast over the last two games, putting up a double-double in each game (27 points, 17 rebounds and 16 points, 12 rebounds).
The Lakers, meanwhile, enter this contest with the No. 3 spot in the Western Conference and a two-game winning streak. Andrew Bynum is coming off a huge game in which he pulled down 30 rebounds (22 defensive) and scored 16 points. Kobe Bryant is expected to be a game-time decision due to his shin injury. He has missed the last three games.
Game time/date: 8:30 p.m. MT, Friday, April 13, 2012
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA