Apr 13, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of the NBA game between the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center. The Lakers defeated the Nuggets 103-97. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE
The Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers open their 2012 NBA Playoffs matchup at the Staples Center on Sunday afternoon.
The Denver Nuggets enter their ninth consecutive NBA Playoffs on Sunday with a road contest against the Los Angeles Lakers, the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. But in the previous eight years in the playoffs, the Nuggets have only made it past the first round of the playoffs once, and that time the team lost to the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals (2009). In 2008, the Nuggets were swept in the first round by the Lakers, as well.
The Nuggets enter this game with the No. 1 scoring offense (104.1 points), but they are near the bottom of the league in points allowed at 101.2 points. During the four game winning streak the team closed out the season with, Denver averaged 114 points. However, the Nuggets will need to overcome their 1-3 regular season record against the Lakers this season. They lost both road games and won, 99-90, at the Pepsi Center back on Jan. 1
The Lakers, meanwhile, will play this game with its starters well rested, having not played in Thursday's finale. Ramon Sessions appears to be over his shoulder injury while Matt Barnes' ankle is well enough along that he should be able to play in this series. But, as always, Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum are the players the Nuggets need to deal with effectively to have a chance at winning this series.
Game time/date: 1:30 p.m. MT, Sunday, April 29, 2012
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA