Raptors-Nuggets Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 02, 2012
The Denver Nuggets could be hosting the perfect opponent after a winless road stretch. The Nuggets have won eight straight at home against the Toronto Raptors heading into Monday night's matchup. Denver (8-9) was probably feeling good about itself one week ago heading into Utah with a four-game win streak. The Nuggets then blew halftime leads in Monday's defeat to the Jazz and Thursday's loss at Golden State before being blown out 122-103 by the Lakers on Friday. "I thought we fought up to a degree, but when they got it back up to 20, our gas tank was pretty empty," coach George Karl said after the loss in Los Angeles. The Nuggets will no doubt be targeting this contest since they start a five-game trip Wednesday in Atlanta. They haven't lost at home to Toronto (4-13) since an 81-74 defeat Dec. 30, 2003, winning the past eight meetings by an average of 19.7 points. The Raptors can probably relate to any sense of urgency the Nuggets may have. Toronto is starting a season-high five-game trip on the heels of Friday's 101-97 victory over Phoenix that ended a six-game slide. The Raptors had been 1-5 in games decided by five points or fewer. "I feel great,'' said point guard Jose Calderon, who had 13 points and nine assists. "We showed ourselves that we can win these types of games." DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 23 points while Amir Johnson added 16 off the bench. Johnson had totaled 20 points during the losing streak before finishing two off his season high against the Suns. The Raptors were in such good spirits afterward that coach Dwane Casey joked that the courtside presence of R&B singer and Toronto native Drake inspired Johnson. "He likes Drake's music a lot so he must have been excited," Casey said. "But Amir did a great job of battling, hitting the boards, defending, just doing a lot of the little things that we need him to do." Andrea Bargnani returned after sitting out Wednesday's loss at Memphis because of a sore left ankle. Bargnani only managed four points and took four shots. His Italian countryman, Danilo Gallinari of the Nuggets, has struggled to average 11.0 points on 33.3 percent shooting in five home games. Toronto is not a major threat from beyond the arc at 35.4 percent, and that's good news for Denver. The Nuggets are the third-worst team defensively against 3-point shooters at 39.5 percent after finishing at a league-worst 38.3 percent in 2011-12. The Lakers' 17 3-pointers Friday were a season high allowed by Denver. "We were last in the league last year as far as giving up 3-pointers," guard Andre Miller said. "This is our third or fourth game this year where we've given up 10 or more 3s. We preach keeping the ball out of the paint; we're trying to force teams to take tough contested jump shots." A matchup to watch will occur on the glass when Denver has possession. The Nuggets lead the NBA with 15.0 offensive rebounds per game while the Raptors are limiting foes to an average of 9.8 offensive boards for the league's second-best mark. The Nuggets have taken 14 of the last 16 overall from the Raptors.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Grizzlies want Kevin Durant in free agency

WATCH: Karl-Anthony Towns throws down monster dunk

Dos Anjos: McGregor will 'break like a girl' at UFC 196

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell hit in groin by LeBron pass

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Doc Rivers: Warriors have 'swagger' of defending champion

Damian Lillard added as a finalist for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team

Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Fighter says sex before fight partly to blame for loss

Kevin McHale: James Harden being out of shape hurt Rockets early

WATCH: Kevin Love re-injures left shoulder

Johnny Manziel’s grandpa on ex-girlfriend: ‘The girl has her problems’

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker