Well, if nothing else, at least this one is done and over with. The Raptors went to Denver tonight and held tough for 24 minutes before what seemed like an inevitable second half collapse, eventually falling 130-112 to the Nuggets.
With Hedo Turkoglu resting with a hip injury, Toronto actually jumped to an 11-point lead late in the second quarter before watching it all fall apart. Carmelo Anthony made quick work of everything the Raps threw at him, finishing with the easiest 32 points you’ll ever see an NBA player score. Anthony was 12-of-15 from the field and 8-of-10 from the line before packing it in and watching his teammates put it to bed with a 33-23 fourth quarter. J.R. Smith also ran wild for Denver, scoring 29 points (on 11-of-17) in just 22 minutes off the bench. The Nuggets shot 61.5% as a team — the second time Toronto has allowed a team to connect at a clip of over 60% this season.
Chris Bosh had a season-low 13 points but grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds for the Raptors, who actually had a 48-33 edge on the boards, including 19-3 on the offensive end. DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with a career-high 17 in just 22 minutes, and Jose Calderon had 16 and seven assists. Marco Belinelli and Sonny Weems chipped in off the bench with 16 and 12, respectively.
It’s a shame this one was the first of a back-to-back, since it was as sure a loss as you’ll get going in. The Raptors, who looked gassed enough in the second half tonight, head to Utah to face the Jazz Wednesday before heading home for three, starting Friday against Miami.