Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets: How to watch, start times and odds

Lakers star LeBron James controls the ball in front of Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray during a game on Dec. 16.
Lakers star LeBron James controls the ball in front of Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray during a game Dec. 16. The Lakers and Nuggets open their Western Conference finals series Tuesday night in Denver.
(Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)

What you need to know: The Lakers and the Denver Nuggets open the NBA Western Conference finals Tuesday night at Ball Arena in Denver. The series is a rematch of the 2020 Western Conference finals, won by the Lakers in five games.

The Lakers reached this season’s Western Conference finals by eliminating the Golden State Warriors in six games. The Nuggets dispatched the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference semifinals, also in six games.

The Lakers and the Nuggets met four times during the regular season and each club won twice. In those contests, the Lakers employed 18 different players, eight of whom are no longer on the team.


Here’s what to expect when the Lakers open the Western Conference finals in Denver against two-time MVP Nikola Jokic and the No. 1 Nuggets.

May 15, 2023

Patrick Beverley was the only Laker to play in all four games and he was traded to Orlando and later signed by Chicago.

The two teams last met over four months ago, on Jan. 9, and in that game Russell Westbrook, who was traded and ended up with the Clippers, was the leading scorer for Los Angeles.

The Lakers, who are trying to qualify for the NBA Finals for the 33rd time in franchise history, are 18-6 in their last 24 games, the league’s best record during that span. The Nuggets moved into first place in the conference standings in December and stayed at the top for the rest of the season.

The marquee matchup of the series should be between center Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets’ two-time most valuable player and triple-double threat, and Lakers forward Anthony Davis, one of the league’s top defensive players.

The Nuggets are 40-7 on their home court and are on track to post the NBA’s best home record since the 2016-17 season when Golden State went 45-5.


How to watch Lakers vs. Nuggets

Radio: 710 (ESPN LA), 1330 (KWKW) Spanish


Betting lines and odds

Denver is favored by six points in Game 1. The Lakers’ estimated score is 108 and the Denver Nuggets’ estimated score is 114.