Jay Satur November 17, 2009
A strong start from the Raptors changed to merely hanging on by halftime and then the wheels came off in the third. Perhaps due to the thin air, the Nuggets pounding away in the paint or a combination of those factors, the Raptors looked like a tired team late in the third.
Toronto survived one 7-0 run from Denver in the third by charging back to trail to 79-81, but playing catch up just wasn't in the cards. Denver quickly ripped off another 13-6 run to end the third and then a 14-2 run at the start of the final frame to expand the lead to as much as 20 points and they never looked back.
Carmelo Anthony gave the Raptors a first-hand look at why he deserves (very) early consideration for MVP honours.
Anthony was on point from tip off, scoring half of his 32 points in the first quarter and finishing with a 12/15 shooting night from the floor in three quarters of work. He was especially deadly in transition in the dying moments of the middle quarters, hitting a driving finger roll at the halftime buzzer and drawing a foul to go to the line at the end of the third. Hard to believe Anthony was still suffering from the aftereffects of a migraine.
With Hedo Turkoglu sitting out with a sore hip, DeMar DeRozan saw a boost in minutes and made the most of the opportunity.
DeRozan had a consistent effort on both sides of the ball, staying within the offence and draining open looks early on and continuing to draw fouls on drives, as he did in spectacular fashion late. Definitely a performance to build on for the rookie swingman.
Points in the paint favoured the Nuggets 68-36. Denver blew the game wide open in the second half with a seemingly endless series of uncontested dunks and layins which contributed to their sizzling 61.5 per cent shooting (48/78) on the night.
Conversely, the Raptors had a tough time inside against the trio of Chris Andersen, Kenyon Martin and Nene -- who combined for 39 points, 21 rebounds and six blocks while holding Chris Bosh to season lows in points and free throw attempts .
``We had no answer for them inside. They posted us up with threes, and once you try to help on Carmelo, when he's making shots, you try to help, he picks you apart by hitting bigs diving to the basket.
"That second half got away from us.'' - Jay Triano
Wednesday Nov. 18 @ Utah Jazz 9:00 PM ET (theScore, FAN 590)
GAME NOTES: Toronto ends its road trip with a stop in Utah Wednesday night. Utah has swept the last four season series against Toronto, including a 109-101 victory in their most recent matchup March 8, 2009 in Toronto. Chris Bosh averaged 24.0 points and 10.5 rebounds in two contests against the Jazz last season.
Number of consecutive games with 20+ points for Chris Bosh - a streak that ended on Tuesday.
Nuggets shooting percentage on the night.
Raptors' points in the paint differential
Number of second-half turnovers from the Raptors.
Raptors who hit career-highs in scoring Tuesday: Sonny Weems (12) and DeMar DeRozan (17)
``My legs could work,'' he said. ``As long as I could run up and down that court, I was good.'' - - Carmelo Anthony on his pregame migraine headache
"They had a pretty good run in the second half. We were still in the game but they just pulled away. They hit a few shots, we gave them too many easy buckets in the paint. We didn't challenge them enough - Chris Bosh
"They're real physical... That's one thing they really take pride in, trying to bully other teams. It's a different kind of team, it's a different attitude and they come to bully you every day." - Sonny Weems on his former team, the Denver Nuggets
27.7 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 2.2 APG
Notes: A league-leading ninth double-double for Chris Bosh who finished with a season-low 13 points and 14 rebounds (eight offensive). That ends his run of consecutive games with 20+ points at 17 straight games dating back to last season.
14.3 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 2.2 APG
Notes:JR Smith was simply on fire when he came off the bench in the first half, scoring 18 points in just 12 minutes. He finished his night going 11/17 from the floor including 5/9 shooting from long range.