DENVER, March 11 (Ticker) -- Juwan Howard scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Denver Nuggets to a 95-87 victory over the Toronto Raptors.

NBA TV highlights from
Raptors-Nuggets:
56k | 300k
Chris Andersen added 12 points and rookie Nikoloz Tskitishvili added 11 for the Nuggets, who held a 54-32 halftime advantage and a 70-53 margin after three quarters.

The victory is Denver's second in three games following a 14-game losing streak.

"This was an excellent team effort tonight," Nuggets coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "The young players are learning to get open, but we really played great defense tonight."

Vince Carter scored 21 points, Jelani McCoy added 12 and 11 rebounds and Antonio Davis scored 12 points for the Raptors, who have split their last six games.

"First half, second half, the entire game, it was a terrible display of Raptors basketball," Carter said. "I personally want to apologize to the fans. ... It could have been the Nuggets or the best team in the league and the outcome would have been the same. Our performance was so bad we did not have anything to say to each other."

The Nuggets started and finished the first quarter with 8-0 runs to take a 27-16 bulge after 12 minutes.

After Morris Peterson made a hoop to cut Toronto's deficit to 19-16 with 3:45 to play, Tskitishvili and Howard sank short jumpers, Andersen made good on two free throws and Marcus Camby hit a basket with 46 seconds left to cap the burst.

"I am getting more confidence with the playing time," said Tskitishvili, who had six assists in his seventh start of the season. "I am getting more confidence with my shot but I love to pass. If a teammate is open, I have to get it to him."

Denver cruised throughout, its lead growing as large as 76-51 on rookie Nene Hilario's layup with 6:09 left.

The victory snapped a seven-game home losing streak for the Nuggets, who had not won at the Pepsi Center since February 4 against Chicago.

Reserve Rodney White scored 10 points and hauled in seven rebounds and Hilario added nine points and 10 boards for Denver, which shot just 39 percent (35-of-90) from the floor but held a 52-45 rebounding advantage.

Peterson scored nine points and Rafer Alston eight for the Raptors, who never led while shooting a woeful 34 percent (26-of-76).

"We played terrible. It was embarrassing," admitted Peterson.