2012 NBA Playoff Predictions: Los Angeles Lakers Will Advance After Game 1 Win

The Los Angeles Lakers (1-0) cruised to a 103-88 win over the Denver Nuggets (0-1) as 4.5-point home favorites on Sunday, which puts them in a dominating position to move on in the NBA playoffs.

Los Angeles is 60-7 all-time in best-of-seven series after proving victorious in Game 1, and the league in general is 330-93 in that particular situation. The Lakers have also compiled a 77-17 record in the postseason when playing inside the Staples Center.

Las Vegas oddsmakers made no adjustment to the betting odds for Game 2 on Tuesday night, sending out the Lakers as 4.5-point favorites, while the total has settled in at 200.

Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 31 points on 11 of 24 shooting from the field, as the Lakers guard is trying to average 20-plus points in a playoff series for the 31st consecutive time. He finished second in the NBA in scoring during the regular season, averaging 27.9 points per game.

Denver came in as the league's top scoring team in averaging 104.1 points per game during the regular season, but was held below 90 points for the first time since a 102-84 road loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 15.

The Nuggets can certainly keep things interesting in this series against the Lakers, considering the franchise finished with its third winning road record (18-15) in franchise history during the regular season. Point guard Ty Lawson must push the pace in order for that to happen.

I think the mountain is already too tall to climb for the squad out of the Mile High City, especially in facing a pair of 7-footers in Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol in the paint, as the duo combined for 21 rebounds in the opener.

Prediction: Lakers will win the series in five games. 

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