The Denver Nuggets (60-25) are in action tonight with the Los Angeles Lakers (48-38) for Game 4 of their first-round series. The Nuggets have won each of the first three games, and they’re going for the sweep tonight, which would be their second playoff sweep of the Lakers in the last two seasons. Overall, they’re going for their 12th straight win in the head-to-head matchup.

For Denver, they’ve won each of the first three games in a variety of ways. In Game 3, it was a heavy dose of Aaron Gordon. In Game 2, Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. did a lot of the heavy lifting to bring Denver back from a big deficit. In Game 1, they shot the lights out, and it was their easiest win of the series by far.

For the Lakers, they’re trending the wrong direction, and they have been since the playoffs started. They have to find a way to dig themselves out of this massive hole, or they’re going to have a long and uncomfortable summer ahead of them. The one problem is that they’re basically going to have to play a flawless game from start to finish because opening the window at all for Denver is something they’ll take advantage of.

The Essentials

Who: Denver Nuggets (60-25, 26-17 away) @ Los Angeles Lakers (48-38, 28-15 home)

When: 6:30 p.m. MST

Where: Arena

How to watch/listen: Denver Stiffs does not condone piracy..unless it’s the romanticized 18th-century type. ABC. 92.5 FM KKSE Altitude Sports Radio

Expected Starting Lineups:

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

DEN: PG Jamal Murray, SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SF Michael Porter Jr., PF Aaron Gordon, C Nikola Jokic

Injuries: Reggie Jackson (ankle) QUESTIONABLE, Christian Wood (knee) QUESTIONABLE, Cam Reddish (ankle) OUT, Jarred Vanderbilt (foot) OUT

Things to Watch

How long can Los Angeles hold it together?

In Game 2, the Lakers looked like they were cruising to a blowout win. They led by as many as 20 at one point in the game, and they had Denver done and buried at the half. However, they were doing that because they were playing perfect basketball and shooting the lights out. Then, it fell apart, and the Nuggets clawed all the way back with the Jamal Murray shot to cap things off. I think the Lakers will come out tonight with some juice, but the question becomes if they’ll have enough to carry them for a long stretch or just a short spurt.

Whose night is it for Denver?

Through three games, someone different has been the featured guy for the Nuggets every night. The question tonight is who is going to be the guy. Is it the game where Jokic finishes with 14 assists because KCP is shooting the lights out? Does Christian Braun had 17 points off the bench in a crucial spurt in the second quarter? Only time will tell.