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History Stacked Against the Nuggets?
by Joel Schmidt
SportsbookAdvisor.comThe Nuggets thought they had won the Western Conference Finals Opener Tuesday Night.  Fortunately for the Lakers, Kobe Bryant’s 40-point performance, including 6 free throws in the last 30 seconds, gave the Lakers a 105-103 victory at home.Even after a close one on Tuesday, it appears that all historical odds are stacked against Denver.  Game 1 made the Lakers’ victory number 11 in straight playoff wins against the Nuggets.  That’s the fourth longest streak in NBA history.  Not so fast, my friend.  Before placing your bets, remember that Denver led most of game one, and is a far different team from the one swept away by the Lakers last year. 
Even if history says that the Lakers will win the series, take a look at what happened the other night.  Denver maintained a lead throughout most of the game, shot a greater percentage than L.A., scored more points off of turnovers, and were better at the free-throw line for most of the game.  They certainly weren’t outplayed.On the books at least, with 5.5 point favor (slightly lower than the other night), it appears that the Lakers have an edge.  If the Nuggets put forth the same solid effort as they did on Tuesday night and throughout the last two months for that matter, you can expect another close one.  Unfortunately, historical pressure looms over and can have a great impact on games like this.  With an 11 game playoff losing streak against the Lakers, the Nuggets will have to do more than beat the spread.  Expect another Lakers’ win tonight.