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 on Wednesday.
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 outside Canada.
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