Big Al's Daily Angle: MLB and NBA Preview

by Big Al Staff

After a rare day off on Monday, the NBA playoffs return to action in the Orlando bubble on Tuesday for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers took a 2-0 lead in this series Sunday night with their dramatic 105-103 victory over the Nuggets when Anthony Davis connected on a buzzer-beating 3-point shot to win that game.

All is not lost for Denver who has already rallied from 3-1 deficits twice in this postseason to defeat the Utah Jazz and then the Los Angeles Clippers to reach the conference finals. The core of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray has played in four playoff series over the last two seasons. They went into Game 4 of each of those series with a 2-1 deficit so they should be confident that they can do the same in the third game of this series.

After losing Game 1 by 12 points, the Nuggets demonstrated in Game 2 that they were not overmatched against the top seed in the Western Conference. Denver lost the free-throw battle by a 38 to 27 margin in Game 1 but they corrected this imbalance on Sunday by getting to the free-throw line 33 times giving them a 14 attempt edge at the charity stripe to the Lakers’ 19 free throw attempts. The Nuggets also forced 24 turnovers on Sunday while holding Los Angeles to only 45 points in the second half. Murray scored 15 of his 25 points in the second half to offer more scoring punch to complement Jokic who is averaging 25.5 PPG in this series on 17 of 34 shooting from the field and a 16 of 19 mark from the charity stripe.

The Lakers have won six games in a row in the playoffs after losing the opening game of their Western Conference semifinals series with Houston. Sunday night’s game was the first time during this hot streak that they did not pay off winning tickets by covering the point spread along with the winning the game as the favorite.

BookMaker lists Los Angeles as a 6.5-point favorite with the total set at 214.5. Tipoff is set for just after 9 PM ET on TNT.

MLB has sixteen games on tap for Tuesday starting with the first game of the Philadelphia/Washington double-header at 3:05 PM ET. The Phillies send out Aaron Nola while the Nationals counter with Austin Voth.

There are three games on national television on Tuesday. ESPN has the New York Yankees playing in Buffalo at the temporary residence for the Toronto Blue Jays. Their ace, Gerrit Cole, takes the ball while the Blue Jays send out the journeyman Tanner Roark. BookMaker has the Yankees as the favorite at -290 price behind Cole with the over/under set at 9.5 with the first pitch scheduled for 6:37 PM ET.

FS1 televises the Texas Rangers playing at Chase Field against the Arizona Diamondbacks at 9:10 PM ET. Jordan Lyles takes the hill for the Rangers while the Diamondbacks will start Caleb Smith. Arizona is the favorite priced at -131 with the over/under installed at 9.5 according to BookMaker.

The ESPN doubleheader concludes at 9:35 PM ET with the Oakland A’s traveling to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers. Frankie Montas is tonight’s starting pitcher for the A’s with Los Angeles turning to Dustin May. BookMaker has Los Angeles as the favorite at a -171 price with a total of 9.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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