Raptors at Nuggets
The Toronto Raptors begin a five-game road trip Monday when they visit the Denver Nuggets. The Raptors, who are tied with Cleveland for the second-worst record in the league, broke a six-game losing streak by beating Phoenix on Friday. The win was Toronto's first since Nov. 18, but the Raptors are 1-9 away from home, which obviously doesn't bode well for their upcoming trip. Toronto's only road win came against Indiana on Nov. 13.
Denver, which has lost three in a row, will be playing just its sixth home game of the season. The Nuggets are 4-1 at the Pepsi Center, but have been dragged under .500 by their 4-8 road record. Denver lost all three games on its most recent trip, including a 122-103 blowout to the Lakers on Friday. That came after a two-point loss to Utah and a one-point defeat to Golden State. The Nuggets' only home loss was to Miami last month.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, TSN2 (Toronto), Altitude (Denver)
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (4-13): As the record would indicate, Toronto has struggled in all areas. The Raptors have problems scoring, averaging 96.2 points, but have even more trouble on the defensive end by giving up 101.2 a game. A strong performance by the bench with Amir Johnson scoring 16 points and Jose Calderon adding 13 helped Toronto end its losing streak. Andrea Bargnani, who returned after missing a game with a sore left ankle, scored four points and had two rebounds in 27 minutes.
ABOUT THE NUGGETS (8-9): Any team wanting to beef up its 3-point shooting numbers should play Denver. Opponents make 39 percent of their 3-pointers against the Nuggets. The low point came against the Lakers, who hit 17-of-33 from behind the arc, and shot 54 percent from the field. After nearly pulling out wins in the first two games of the trip, Denver played like a tired team and fell flat against the Lakers.
1. Mickael Pietrus, signed by Toronto on Friday, had six points and two rebounds against Phoenix in his first action this season
2. Denver's Kenneth Faried is averaging 10.5 rebounds, including 4.6 on the offensive end. He's a major reason the Nuggets pull down 46.3 rebounds a game.
3. Toronto broke a nine-game losing streak against Denver with a 105-96 home win on March 28 last season.