NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, December 3rd
(All times eastern)
Toronto Raptors (4-13) at Denver Nuggets (8-9), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Denver Nuggets will try to halt a three-game losing
streak Monday night when they welcome the Toronto Raptors to the Pepsi Center.
The Nuggets dropped all three games on a recent road trip and Monday's stop at
home is only that, a stop. Denver heads east for a five-game jaunt, starting
The offense hasn't been a problem for George Karl's Nuggets. They've scored
over 100 points in six straight contests, but the Nuggets have given up 111.0
ppg in this recent swoon.
Against the Los Angeles Lakes on Friday night, the Nuggets fell 122-103 at
the Staples Center. Five Nuggets scored in double-figures, led by 19 from
Danilo Gallinari. Five Lakers posted double-figures, but it wasn't the usual
Lakers suspects that swamped Denver.
Kobe Bryant only managed 14 points and Pau Gasol a measly six. Antawn Jamison
exploded for 33 points off the bench and Jodie Meeks went 7-for-8 from beyond
the arc for 21 points.
"They made some tough shots, but they had a lot of open looks," Karl said of
the Lakers. "Jamison and Meeks got into a great rhythm early and its tough to
shut down guys after they get going."
The Raptors were in a similar position to the Nuggets on Friday. They came
back from a two-game road trip for one game at home, a 101-97 victory over the
Phoenix Suns. Toronto headed west after the rare win for Monday's game against
the Nuggets and battles with the Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz, Los Angeles
Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers.
Against the Suns, the Raptors' backcourt of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan
combined for 38 points, 15 rebounds and six assists to give Toronto a boost
before hitting the road.
"It felt good, we definitely needed it mentally, we definitely needed it
before we went on this tough road trip," said Lowry.
This will be the longest road trip of the season for the Raptors, who are 1-9
Monday's game should be an interesting battle on the boards. The Nuggets are
the NBA's top offensive rebounding team and lead the league in second-chance
points. The Raptors are second in fewest offensive rebounds for the opposition
and defensive rebounding percentage.
The Nuggets are 14-2 in their last 16 against the Raptors and Toronto hasn't
won in Denver since Dec. 30, 2003, losing its last eight visits there.
12/03 10:43:24 ET