Peterson guides Raptors past Nuggets
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) – Morris Peterson tied a season high with 23
points off the bench, as the Toronto Raptors pounded the Denver Nuggets,
121-94, at Air Canada Centre.
Jorge Garbajosa posted 22 points and nine rebounds for Toronto, which is
fourth overall in the East and has a seven-game advantage over New Jersey for
the lead in the Atlantic Division. T.J. Ford notched 14 points and 14 assists
for Toronto, which is 25-10 at home this season and will next play in Boston
Chris Bosh scored 14 points, but sprained his right ankle midway through the
first quarter and did not return. He is undergoing treatment for precautionary
The Raptors were without rookie Andrea Bargnani after the forward underwent an
appendectomy on Wednesday and is out indefinitely. Both recovering from ankle
injuries, guard Anthony Parker remained sidelined but Jose Calderon returned
to score eight points and dish out six assists.
Linas Kleiza and J.R. Smith both netted 20 points for the Nuggets, who had
their season-high five-game winning streak halted on Thursday in heart-
breaking fashion against Chicago. Steve Blake had 15 points and Allen Iverson
scored 14 for the Nuggets, who fell to 1-2 on a five-game road trip and
dropped to 15-16 as the visitor this season.
Denver is seventh overall in the Western Conference, just 1 1/2 games back of
the Los Angeles Lakers in the standings. Denver will also travel to Cleveland
and Detroit on its swing.
Toronto exploded out of the gate to attain early control of the game, in which
the Raptors scored the first 12 points. They closed the quarter on a 18-6 run
snapped by a Blake jumper with five ticks left for a 36-15 advantage heading
into the second.
After Blake’s trey 16 seconds into the second quarter, the Raptors went on an
11-2 run capped by a three-point play incurred on a driving hook shot with
9:35 remaining. Toronto later closed the stanza on an 18-10 run finished by a
Peterson reverse layup with 43 seconds left for a commanding season-high 72-43
Toronto opened the third quarter on another 11-2 spurt sparked by a Bosh dunk
36 seconds into the second half for an 83-45 lead, which they maintained down
the stretch for a 95-64 margin heading into the fourth.
Eduardo Najera suffered a left lower tibia contusion early in the second and
did not return for Denver. He is listed as day-to-day…Having taken their
first meeting with Toronto this season in November, the Nuggets fell short of
sweeping the season series with the Raptors for the third consecutive
campaign…Toronto’s last win against the Nuggets came on December 30, 2003 in