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