Balanced Raptors beat Nuggets | Inquirer Sports

Balanced Raptors beat Nuggets

/ 11:21 AM March 28, 2018

Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) scores as Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler (21) looks on during first half NBA basketball action in Toronto on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO — DeMar DeRozan, Jonas Valanciunas, and Fred VanVleet each scored 15 points and the Toronto Raptors beat the Denver Nuggets 114-110 on Tuesday night.

Jakob Poeltl scored all of his 12 points in the fourth quarter, including eight straight for Toronto at one stretch.

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Serge Ibaka had 13 points, Pascal Siakam 12 and Kyle Lowry 11 as the Raptors improved to 31-7 at home.

Toronto, which lost to the Clippers on Sunday, avoided what would have been its fifth two-game losing streak. The Eastern Conference-leading Raptors have yet to lose three consecutive games this season.

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Nikola Jokic had 29 points and 16 rebounds, and Paul Millsap scored 20 points for the Nuggets, who lost their second straight and fourth in six games.

Jamal Murray scored 15 points and fellow Canadian Trey Lyles had 13 for the Nuggets.

Up 85-82 through three quarters, Denver reeled off five straight points in the first minute of the fourth to open an eight-point advantage. Toronto answered with a 13-2 spurt over the next four minutes. Denver called timeout after VanVleet’s driving layup gave the Raptors a 95-92 lead with 6:55 to play.

Toronto led 111-101 after Poeltl capped his outburst with a layup with just over a minute left. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Murray and Wilson Chandler cut it to 111-107 with 18 seconds remaining. After VanVleet made a pair of free throws, Jokic banked home a 3 to make it 113-110 with 10 seconds to go, but Denver couldn’t get any closer.

Lowry scored nine points in the first and Wright banked home a half-court heave at the buzzer to give Toronto a 25-23 lead after one. Denver shot 1 for 8 from 3-point range in the first, but went 8 for 8 at the free throw line.

A 3 by Lyles gave Denver a 47-39 lead with 5:43 left in the second but Valanciunas scored eight points and Ibaka had six as the Raptors rallied to tie it at 58 at halftime.

Millsap scored 12 points in the third.

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TIP-INS

Nuggets: Leading scorer Gary Harris (right knee) missed his sixth straight game. … Jokic had eight assists. … Denver shot 14 for 21 in the second.

Raptors: Toronto is 19-11 against Western Conference opponents. … Lowry and DeRozan each had eight assists.

UP NEXT

Nuggets: Conclude a seven-game road trip at Oklahoma City on Friday.

Raptors: Visit Boston on Saturday. The Raptors and Celtics meet twice in Toronto’s next three games.

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TAGS: DeMar DeRozan, Denver Nuggets, Fred VanVleet, Jonas Valanciunas, NBA, Nikola Jokic, Toronto Raptors
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