Nuggets Vs. Lakers Preview: LeBron James 9 Points Away From 40,000
LeBron James, Lakers, Nuggets
Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers play their first game of March, which is a month that will present many challenging matchups for the purple and gold. It all starts against the defending champion Denver Nuggets coming into town for the third meeting of the season series.

The last matchup was on Feb. 8 after the trade deadline, where the Lakers held strong against the Nuggets but when it came to crunch time were not able to keep up. A similar theme dates back to the Western Conference Finals as L.A. struggled to match the timely shot-making of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray.

Coming off a timely win against the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, this would be another candidate for the best win of the season as the Lakers look to stack victories and climb up in the standings.

Despite being on the injury report, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Cam Reddish are available to play for L.A.

For the Nuggets, Murray was listed as questionable with an ankle injury but is good to goFormer Laker Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is out though due to personal reasons.

A huge storyline for this one is James chasing the elusive 40,000 point mark as he is nine points away. Once he gets there, the 39-year-old will be the one and only player to reach that mark, which adds to the long list of accolades for him.

Nine points is light work for the four-time champion and it will be interesting to see if the game stops when he reaches 40,000 like it was when he broke the scoring record.

However, it seems whenever James breaks a record, the Lakers struggle to top it off with a win and this is a crucial game against the defending champions, who have beaten L.A. seven straight times.

While reaching 40,000 points will be a great moment for James, wins are at the forefront as L.A. battles to get out of the Play-In Tournament.

It is time for the purple and gold to expel their demons against Denver and get over that mental hurdle. Losing seven straight to the Nuggets does not sit well for the players, so pulling out a win and snapping that streak could inject more confidence in this team as the regular season winds down.

Los Angeles Lakers (33-28) vs. Denver Nuggets (41-19)

Saturday, March. 3, 2024, 5:30 p.m. PT
Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, California
TV: ABC
Radio: 710 AM ESPN LA

Projected Lakers Starting Lineup:

PG: D’Angelo Russell
SG: Austin Reaves
SF: LeBron James
PF: Rui Hachimura
C: Anthony Davis

Key Reserves: Spencer Dinwiddie, Taurean Prince, Cam Reddish, Jaxson Hayes, Max Christie

Projected Nuggets Starting Lineup:

PG: Jamal Murray
SG: Christian Braun
SF: Michael Porter Jr.
PF: Aaron Gordon
C: Nikola Jokic

Key Reserves: Reggie Jackson, Peyton Watson, DeAndre Jordan

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