Newspaper article The Canadian Press

DeRozan's 34 Points Not Enough as Nuggets Beat Toronto Raptors 106-105

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

DeRozan's 34 Points Not Enough as Nuggets Beat Toronto Raptors 106-105

Article excerpt

Nuggets spoil DeRozan's 34-point game


TORONTO - Dwane Casey's message to his players before tip-off Thursday night was about consistency.

It seems the message got lost along the way.

The night after a thrilling come-from-behind victory over the Hawks in Atlanta, the Toronto Raptors dropped a 106-105 decision to the visiting Denver Nuggets.

And afterward, a visibly angry Casey talked about an inconsistent Raptors team that virtually coughed up the game in a horrible first half.

"We're like this," said the Raptors coach, mimicking a roller-coaster with his hand. "We've got to get a level of play that we decide we're going to play at from the start of the game until the end of the game, we can't wait until we get our teeth kicked in before we start to play.

"That's been our M.O., whether we change the starting unit. . . just to get that jump-start, we've got to do it. It's just too many games in a row now that we get out and dig ourselves a hole."

DeMar DeRozan poured in 34 points, while Kyle Lowry had 16 points, eight assists, and six rebounds for the Raptors (12-8), in their first of six straight home games. Cory Joseph scored 15 points off the bench, while DeMarre Carroll had 10 points and six boards.

Will Barton scored 22 points to top the Nuggets (7-13), while Danilo Gallinari added 21.

Speaking to the media pre-game, Casey was wary of a repeat of last week, when the Raptors edged the Wizards in Washington, then lost ugly the next night at home to Phoenix.

His worries were well-founded as the Raptors dug themselves an 18-point hole by halftime. The Nuggets took an 81-71 lead into the fourth quarter in front of an Air Canada Centre capacity crowd of 19,800.

The Raptors stepped up their defence and capitalized on several turnovers and when Joseph scored on a driving layup with 5:24 to play, it pulled Toronto to within two. …

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