This win was just fitting for win 1,000 for Denver Nuggets coach George Karl, as his team once again played little defense and let another less-talented team rally before holding them off in the end.
The Toronto Raptors cut the Nuggets advantage to four in the fourth quarter before the Nuggets sealed it by Chauncey Billups hitting three of four from the charity stripe.
The Nuggets as a team scored 123 points and took advantage of their size in Nene, who had 26 points and six rebounds, respectfully. And also their sharp shooting, with Al Harrington coming off the bench to score a season-high 31 points (hitting six of 11 from behind the arc) and Billups adding 21 points and eight assists.
The Raptors were led by two former Nuggets, with Linas Kleiza scoring 26 points and 12 rebounds and Sonny Weems chipping in 21 points.
Rookie energizer Gary Forbes scored inside and outside for 15 points and attacked the glass for six rebounds. Outside of allowing the Raptors to score 116 points, the Nuggets lost in the hustle points. They had a season-worst 22 turnovers and also allowed the smaller Toronto squad to grab 13 rebounds (Kleiza had five) in a game in which the officials let their whistles take the day off.
Denver’s star Carmelo Anthony sat out his second game in a row, as the Nuggets head into the Lions Den on Sunday morning to face the red-hot New York Knicks, which is the rumored to be Melo’s No. 1 choice to play, at Madison Square Garden.