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News » Raptors-Nuggets Preview 2009-11-17

Raptors-Nuggets Preview 2009-11-17

Raptors-Nuggets Preview 2009-11-17The Denver Nuggets showed they can be one of the NBA's best teams by beating the defending champions in their last game.

The Toronto Raptors didn't need to be reminded.

The Nuggets look to build on their most impressive victory of the season Tuesday night when they try to win their fifth straight against the Raptors and sixth straight at home in the series.

In a rematch of last season's Western Conference finals, Denver (7-3) routed the Los Angeles Lakers 105-79 on Friday, holding the defending champs to eight third-quarter points on 4-for-20 shooting from the field. That tied a Nuggets franchise record for fewest points allowed in a quarter.

"I think it was the best quarter I've seen our team play against a special team, maybe since I've been in Denver," said sixth-year Nuggets coach George Karl. "It was intense, focused, disciplined, and the offense rewarded the defense by converting plays."

Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points on 11 of 20 shooting, despite having first-year Laker Ron Artest assigned to shut him down.

"I don't really think it's possible to have a 'Melo stopper," said Anthony, averaging a career-best 29.7 points. "No team in the NBA will just let me play 1-on-1 against them. They just won't do it."

Anthony overcame a sore elbow and scored 23 as the Nuggets shot a season-best 59.8 percent in Toronto's last visit to the Pepsi Center - a 132-98 Denver victory on Dec. 2. The Nuggets have won five in a row at home against the Raptors (5-5) since an 81-74 loss on Dec. 30, 2003.

Last season's rout in Denver was the fifth-worst loss in Raptors franchise history, and it ended coach Sam Mitchell's tenure with the team. He was fired the following day and replaced by assistant Jay Triano.

Looking for its first three-game winning streak of the season, Triano's team fell to 1-1 on its western trip with Sunday's 101-100 loss to Phoenix. First-year Raptor Hedo Turkoglu matched a season high with 20 points but missed a step-back jumper from the top of the key as time expired.

"The shot was just like the shot I made a couple minutes before that on the left corner, and that's a shot I'll take every time," said Turkoglu, who gave Toronto a 100-98 lead with 51.5 seconds remaining with a jumper over Steve Nash.

Playing for Orlando, Turkoglu averaged 21.0 points, 5.0 boards and 5.0 assists versus Denver in 2008-09.

Raptors four-time All-Star Chris Bosh looks to extend his double-double streak to six after posting 25 points and 10 rebounds against Phoenix. Bosh, who has scored 20 or more points in 17 straight games dating to last season, had 24 in each of the two losses to Denver last season.

The Raptors and Nuggets are among the league's highest-scoring teams, averaging 106.9 and 106.2, respectively.

Denver is trying to improve to 4-0 at home for the first time since 1989-90.

The Raptors' last win over the Nuggets was a 121-94 victory in Toronto on March 23, 2007.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 17, 2009


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