Nuggets vs. Lakers, Game 7: Historically Significant Stats Surrounding Big Game

Rich Kurtzman@@RichKurtzman Senior Analyst IMay 12, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 08:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives on Arron Afflalo #6 of the Denver Nuggets in the second quarter in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2012 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

For the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers, it's D-Day, as tonight's Game 7 will decide the fate of the two franchises' immediate futures.

The winner of tonight's game will win the first-round series, moving on to play the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday, while the loser will go fishing.

And the buildup to this Game 7 has been epic.

Los Angeles landed the first two blows at home, Denver swung back to make it 2-1, then the Lakers hit the Nuggets in the mouth at home to go up, 3-1.

The young Nuggets showed heart in Game 5 and proved they can hang with the much more experienced Lakers, landing a haymaker in the form of the blowout 113-96 win on Thursday night in Game 6.

It's all led to tonight's Game 7—TNT, 10:30 p.m. ET tip—and the tale of two franchises spelled out in some historically significant stats.

Read here why the Nuggets will finally defeat their nemesis, the LA Lakers.

Here's a look at some of the best ones surrounding tonight's game:

-The Lakers are the Nuggets' most-played postseason opponent, with Los Angeles winning each of the teams' previous five meetings. Three were in the first round, with two series being Western Conference finals in 1985 and 2009.

-By winning three games in the series, Denver has won as many as Karl's first three teams with the Nuggets (3-12).

-Tonight's contest marks just the third Game 7 in Nuggets franchise history. They are 1-1 in previous Game 7s, beating the Milwaukee Bucks in 1978 and losing to the Utah Jazz in 1994.

-Los Angeles is 11-8 all-time in Game 7s.

-The Lakers won their last Game 7 over the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals in 2010, but are one of eight teams to lose a Game 7 after being up 4-1, in 2006 to the Phoenix Suns in the first round.

-Los Angeles has won 16 championships while Denver is still searching for their first NBA title.

-Los Angeles won 10 straight Game 7s from 1963-2000 and are 11-1 in their last 12.

-The Lakers have gone 14-3 in home closeout games since Kobe Bryant joined the team.

-Kobe is 4-1 in Game 7s over his career.

-Not a single Denver Nuggets player has ever participated in a Game 7.

-Nuggets veteran point guard Andre Miller is 0-8 in playoff series through his 14-year career.

-Denver is the youngest Western Conference playoff team.

-Ty Lawson is averaging 7.7 points more (22.0 vs. 14.3) and 2.0 assists more (seven vs. five) in wins than losses this series for Denver.

-After coming in second in scoring in the regular season, Bryant managed to improve his scoring to 31.2 points per game in the series.

-Only eight teams have ever come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a seven-game series, a 96 percent success rate for the team up 3-1, and the Nuggets look to become the ninth team to accomplish that feat tonight.

Need more Game 7 coverage? Read why the Nuggets will win this wild west contest tonight.

Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist. Follow him on Facebook and/or Twitter for breaking news, interesting insight and links to articles.


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