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Denver Nuggets Odds
Refusing to wait until the brink of elimination to take things into their own hands, like they did in the first round, the Denver Nuggets used a defensive adjustment to get even in the Western Conference semifinals.
With Game 3 against the Los Angeles Clippers approaching Monday, the Nuggets figure to be fine-tuning a collapsing, double-team strategy that served them well in a Game 2 victory. The Clippers were scoring 125.7 points per game in the playoffs before they were held to 101 in Game 2.
After scoring 12 points in Game 1, Jamal Murray rebounded with 27 in Game 2. Denver scored 44 points in the first quarter Saturday by shooting 70.8 percent from the field. Big man Nikola Jokic (wrist) is questionable.
Los Angeles Clippers Odds
Kawhi Leonard met a defense he could not overwhelm in Game 2 and the Los Angeles Clippers lost to the Denver Nuggets as their second-round series was evened at a game each entering Monday’s Game 3.
Leonard scored 13 points, the first time he was held under 29 in these playoffs. He missed all six shots he took in the second half and was 4 of 17 overall. Paul George scored 22 points, and the Clippers did cut a 23-point deficit to five with 8:36 to play, but could not finish off the rally.
Twice the Clippers led their first-round series over the Mavericks by a game, only to fall back even with their opponent, so they are familiar with this kind of change in momentum.
Nuggets vs. Clippers Betting Pick for Game 3
Sucker-punched in the early going by the Nuggets’ collapsing defense, the Clippers fell into an early double-digit deficit but did mount a late rally. The Nuggets won’t figure to have the same element of surprise.
Nuggets vs. Clippers Betting Pick for Game 3:
Nuggets (+7.5), Clippers (-7.5)
Clippers 112, Nuggets 103
Nuggets vs. Clippers Best Bet for Game 3
The Nuggets were out of gas in Game 1, after holding off the Utah Jazz in a seven-game first round, but they found the energy to buckle down on the defensive end in Game 2 vs. the Clippers and that effort figures to be here to stay.
Nuggets vs. Clippers Best Bet: UNDER 222 (-110)