Notebook: Nuggets 113, Raptors 110



Posted Dec 4, 2012 1:33 AM

By Michael Kelly, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: Corey Brewer had 19 points off the bench, JaVale McGee had 17 points and five blocked shots and the Denver Nuggets survived a furious fourth-quarter rally to beat the Toronto Raptors 113-110 on Monday night.

Kenneth Faried had 18 points and 10 rebounds and hit a key free throw with 5.8 seconds left to help Denver (9-9) end a three-game losing streak.

Kyle Lowry led Toronto (4-14) with 24 points, 12 in the fourth quarter, and Andrea Bargnani had 23 points for the Raptors. Toronto has lost seven of its last eight and has not won consecutive games yet this season.

QUOTABLE: "We stopped making shots, they started making shots. NBA teams are going to make runs and they made their run late."

-- Corey Brewer, on the Raptors' rally

THE STAT: The Nuggets won nearly every statistical category, outrebounding the Raptors 53-37, including a 23-9 edge on the offensive end. Denver also won the transition game, outscoring Toronto 19-2 on the fastbreak.

TURNING POINT: The Nuggets led 103-86 with 6:07 left when the Raptors rallied. Lowry came alive to score points to pull the Raptors within 105-104 with 3:41 left. But Ty Lawson hit a clutch 3-pointer and the Nuggets hit enough free throws to survive a couple of 3s by Toronto.

QUOTABLE II: "Andre Iguodala attacked and I moved to the open spot. I found myself wide open and knocked it down."

-- Ty Lawson, on his late 3-pointer

HOT: Brewer's performance in the first half. He scored on dunks and 3-pointers, and also chipped in with four rebounds and two steals. He and McGee changed the momentum in the game in just a few minutes.

HOT II: Lowry's performance in the final quarter nearly won the game for the Raptors. He had 12 points and two assists during the last eight minutes and his aggressiveness had the Nuggets scrambling. He also finished 11-for-11 from the line.

NOT: Toronto's interior play. Not only did the Nuggets seem to dunk at will, they badly outrebounded the Raptors. They also outscored them 58-42 in the paint.

QUOTABLE III: "There's no way we can give up 23 offensive rebounds and expect to beat anybody in the NBA."

-- Raptors coach Dwane Casey

NOT II: The Nuggets foul shooting again was suspect. They were 27-for-43, which means they could have sealed the game by hitting more of their free throws.

QUOTABLE IV: "I'm going to fire my free throw coach and my layup coach. The easy shots we've missed are amazing. We missed dunks."

-- Nuggets coach George Karl

GOOD MOVE: Karl's confidence in Jordan Hamilton's ability to make a difference paid off in the first half. Hamilton was 4-for-5 from the field, scored six straight points in one stretch and also had four rebounds. With Denver looking for a shooter to stretch defenses, Hamilton's contribution will be key.

BAD MOVE: The Nuggets' aggressiveness went away in the final few minutes. The Raptors did hit some big shots, a few well behind the 3-point line, but had Denver pushed the pace they wouldn't have needed a late stand to win.

ROOKIE WATCH: Raptors guard Terrence Ross had 12 points, including a big 3-pointer late that helped Toronto rally.

NOTABLE: The Nuggets held a 19-2 advantage in fast-break points. ... McGee set a career high in free-throw attempts with 16. He made nine. ... Raptors forward Linas Kleiza missed the game with a sore left hip. ... Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler missed his 10th straight and 15th overall. He is still recovering from offseason surgery on his left hip and will not accompany the team on its upcoming five-game road trip.

UP NEXT: For the Raptors, Wednesday @ Sacramento, Friday @ Utah, Sunday @ L.A. Clippers. For the Nuggets, Wednesday @ Atlanta, Friday @ Indiana, Sunday at New York.