NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, December 1st (All times Eastern)
Denver Nuggets (9-6) at Toronto Raptors (6-9), 1 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Denver Nuggets will take their season-high five-game winning streak to the east coast when they open a six-game trip Sunday afternoon against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre.
The Nuggets made it five wins in a row with Friday's 97-95 edging of the lowly New York Knicks, as Randy Foye finished with 17 points and defended Carmelo Anthony's 14-foot turnaround jumper with 2.1 seconds left.
"Much respect to Carmelo, but at the end of the game, I realize we're fighting for our lives," Foye told NBA.com. "I'm just saying to myself, 'I'm going to make him take a tough shot, no matter what.' If he makes it over me with a hand up, I can live with it. But I can't live with giving him an easy shot, just because he's Carmelo."
Ty Lawson led Denver with 22 points, Nate Robinson netted 16 off the bench and both Wilson Chandler and J.J. Hickson scored 13 points. Hickson also grabbed a game-best 11 rebounds for the Nuggets, who shot 43.7 percent, but struggled from 3-point range (9-of-24).
Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried left the game in the third quarter with a contusion of his quadriceps and had four points and six rebounds. The Nuggets hope Faried will be able to make the trip and he is questionable Sunday.
Lawson has scored 10 or more points in all 15 of his games for the Nuggets, who are 9-3 since an 0-3 start. A six-game winning streak at home has helped.
Denver has won back-to-back road games and will also visit Brooklyn, Cleveland, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington on the trek. Denver is 3-4 outside the Rockies this season.
Meanwhile, the Raptors will close out a four-game homestand Sunday and are 1-2 on the residency following Friday's 90-83 loss to the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat. LeBron James led the Heat with 27 points.
DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points to lead the hosts and Rudy Gay ended with 21 and 11 rebounds. Kyle Lowry posted 15 points for a squad that committed 21 turnovers, leading to 26 Miami points. Toronto shot 38.4 percent and made only eight of its 30 3-point attempts.
The Raptors struggled at the foul line, too, making 19-of-32.
"Free throws, that was the story," said Raptors forward Tyler Hansbrough. "We have to do a better job, myself included."
After Toronto, which is 3-5 up north, hosts the Nuggets, it will head west for three games against Golden State, Phoenix and the Los Angeles Lakers.
DeRozan leads the NBA in scoring with 28.0 points since November 15 and is averaging 23.4 ppg at home. Gay is posting an average of 19.0 ppg in his previous five and has at least one block in eight games in a row.
Sunday's game between Toronto and Denver is the first of two this season. The Nuggets will host the Raptors on Jan. 31 and both teams split two meetings in 2012-13.
The Nuggets have won 10 of 12 and 15 of the past 18 matchups with Toronto.
12/01 10:26:44 ET