NBA Game Summary - Denver at Toronto
(Wednesday, December 31st)
Final Score: Denver 114, Toronto 107
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Nene had 21 points and seven rebounds to help lead the Denver Nuggets to a 114-107 win over the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre.
Carmelo Anthony went for 20 while Chauncey Billups scored 18 and dished out seven assists for the Nuggets, who improved to 2-1 on their four-game road trip and won for the third time in four tries, giving head coach George Karl his 900th NBA win in the process.
"Unbelievable," Karl said of reaching 900. "It's fortunate, you have good players, you have good situations and you have good coaches."
J.R. Smith had 16 points and Kenyon Martin 15 with seven boards as Denver will also visit Oklahoma City on Friday to close out the trip.
Chris Bosh logged 24 points and 11 rebounds while Andrea Bargnani netted a game-high 26 points for Toronto, which lost for the third straight time in opening a three-game homestand. The Raptors will also host Houston and Orlando.
Jose Calderon had 18 points and a game-high 11 assists while Anthony Parker chipped in 12 points as the Raptors also dropped their eighth game in the last 10.
"I wish we could start over again," Bosh said of the team's struggles thus far. "It has been a struggle early on and things really haven't gone our way. We haven't played the basketball we're capable of playing."
Toronto was without forward Jermaine O'Neal (knee) and guard Jason Kapono (thigh) in the loss.
The Raptors held a 31-29 edge after 12 minutes but Denver used a late 10-2 run to close the half up three, 53-50, after Smith and Nene hit back-to-back three-pointers to end the second.
The teams traded leads in an up-tempo third quarter until the Nuggets pulled ahead by eight, 85-77, closing out the frame with 11 straight points.
Toronto got to within three early in the fourth and then again on a three-ball from Calderon with 4:22 left to play but the Nuggets were able to extend their lead with a 10-2 run that left only 1:25 on the clock.
A Parker three-pointer with 22.5 seconds left was good for a four-point deficit, 111-107, but Denver hit 3-of-4 from the line to clinch the win.
Denver is now 10-8 as the guest this season while Toronto is 5-9 at home thus far...Toronto interim head coach Jay Triano is just 4-11 since taking over for the fired Sam Mitchell...Denver handed Toronto a 132-93 beating on December 2 this season and has won four straight and 11 of the last 16 meetings...Willie Solomon scored 11 and Jamario Moon 10 to go along with seven rebounds for Toronto...Linas Kleiza and Chris Andersen netted 10 points apiece for Denver while Andersen also collected 10 rebounds...The Nuggets are 16-0 when leading after three quarters.
12/31 23:44:11 ET