Raptors' late rally comes up short against Nuggets
DENVER — Corey Brewer scored 19 points, JaVale McGee had 17 points and five blocks, and the Denver Nuggets withstood a late rally to beat the Toronto Raptors 113-110 on Monday night.
Andrea Bargnani scored 23 points for Toronto and Kyle Lowry had 24, including 12 in the fourth quarter when the Raptors cut a 17-point lead to one with 2:18 left.
The Nuggets led 103-86 on a dunk by Kenneth Faried midway through the fourth before Toronto came storming back. The Raptors scored 11 straight points before Danilo Gallinari hit two free throws.A 3-pointer by rookie Terrence Ross and two free throws by Lowry made it 105-104. Ty Lawson, who finished with 16 points, hit a 3-pointer and Toronto missed its next three shots as Denver built a 110-104 cushion.
Lowry hit another 3 with 14 seconds left, and after two free throws from Andre Iguodala, Amir Johnson hit a 3 with 7.9 seconds remaining to make it 112-110.
Faried hit one of two free throws with 5.8 seconds left and DeMar DeRozan missed a long 3 at the buzzer.
Faried had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Six players scored in double figures for Denver.
The Nuggets looked as though they would cruise to their first win in four games. They led 61-44 at halftime and maintained a double-digit lead throughout the third quarter.
Denver trailed 22-19 when it took control late in the first quarter. Brewer came off the bench and had two quick dunks and a layup to spark a 10-2 run to finish the period.
Brewer continued his tear in the second quarter. He scored nine points in 2:30 and McGee had an alley-oop dunk among his 11 first-half points to help Denver take a 38-26 lead before Toronto called a timeout.
Denver didn’t let up. Jordan Hamilton scored six straight points to push the lead to 53-34 with 4:15 left in the first half. The Nuggets continued to turn missed shots and turnovers into easy baskets, outscoring Toronto 13-0 on the fast break in the first half.
Raptors F Linas Kleiza (sore left hip) did not play. He had an MRI on Monday afternoon but the results were not available yet.