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Lakers center Mo Bamba (left ankle sprain) ruled out for Game 1 vs. Nuggets

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USA Today Network

Los Angeles Lakers center Mo Bamba (left ankle sprain) has been downgraded to out for Tuesday night’s Game 1 matchup against the Denver Nuggets of the 2023 Western Conference Finals.

In February, the Orlando Magic traded the 7-foot big man to the Lakers in exchange for cash and Patrick Beverley. Bamba, 25, went on to average 3.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 9.8 minutes in nine appearances with Los Angeles.

Per multiple NBA betting sites, the Lakers have third-shortest odds to win the championship. Check out which sportsbooks are showing greater odds for the Boston Celtics and Nuggets.

In 49 appearances of the 2022-23 regular season, Mo Bamba averaged 6.6 points, 4.6 boards, and 15.7 minutes per game. Plus, the former Magic center shot 48.5% from the field and 38.7% beyond the arc.

During the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, the Lakers center played almost 10 minutes off the bench in a 125-85 series-clinching win in Game 6 against the Memphis Grizzlies. However, Bamba has not yet scored a point.

Earlier in the playoffs, Bamba received platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections for his high left ankle sprain.

Lakers center Mo Bamba (ankle) has been ruled out for Tuesday night’s Game 1 matchup vs. Nuggets of the 2023 Western Conference Finals

Entering Game 1 of the 2023 Western Conference Finals, the Lakers are 15-5 in their last 20 games. But they’re also 1-4 in their past five matchups on the road versus Denver. Not to mention, Los Angeles is 5-2 ATS in its previous seven contests.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets are 8-3 in their past 11 games. They’re 4-2 ATS in their last six meetings against Western Conference opponents. The point total has gone over in 12 of their previous 18 contests versus the Lakers. And Denver is 12-2 ATS in its last 14 encounters versus Pacific Division teams.

As for Denver’s injury report, Jamal Murray (illness) is listed as questionable for Game 1. The sixth-year guard was listed as questionable for Game 6 against the Phoenix Suns last week, but he went on to play and scored 26 points. Collin Gillespie (leg) remains out indefinitely as well.

According to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, the Nuggets hold a 59.6% chance of winning Game 1 at home over the Lakers. Sportsbooks show L.A. as a six-point underdog at Ball Arena.

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James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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