Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Rudy Gay has been nothing but solid since
Toronto acquired him and he proved his worth yet again for the Raptors on
With 4.9 seconds left in the game, Gay sank the go-ahead basket to push
Toronto past the injury-ravaged Denver Nuggets, 109-108, at Air Canada Centre.
Gay, who battled foul trouble in the second half, was held under 20 points for
the first time since being traded but scored 17 in the Raptors' third straight
win, with his final basket coming near the baseline as he rose above his
defender to swish a short jumper.
DeMar DeRozan added 22 points and Kyle Lowry finished with 11 points and 10
assists in the win.
Without Andre Iguodala, Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler -- who were all
sidelined with injuries -- Ty Lawson stepped up to score 29 points, but he
misfired on a running jumper as time expired. He also had nine assists.
"Everyone knew he was going to take the shot," said Denver coach George Karl
on Lawson's final attempt. "Lawson was the first option, if he comes off clean
he would have had a chance to take a better shot. He plays his ass off for me,
he made enough shots, but enough things didn't go our way in the game."
The Nuggets, now losers of two in a row since winning nine straight, also lost
JaVale McGee in the first half after experiencing soreness in his left tibia.
Anthony Randolph played a season-high 27 minutes and put forth 16 points with
seven rebounds off the bench in the setback.
Prior to Gay's game-winner, the Nuggets had rallied to take a 108-107 lead
late despite missing two of their starters and giving up seven fourth quarter
John Lucas III, who scored 14 for the Raptors, buried four triples in the
final period and Alan Anderson knocked down two from long distance as well,
with his second staking Toronto to 105-102 lead with 2:16 to play.
"He knows how to shoot," said Gay on Lucas' clutch fourth quarter 3-point
shooting. "We've made some changes to this point in the season and guys are
getting a chance to play and see what they can do."
Lawson, who scored 10 in the final period, reduced the Nuggets' deficit to one
with a driving score before Randolph put them ahead by one with 42 seconds
left by hitting a pair of free throws.
The Nuggets lacked cohesion early without their key contributors and they
struggled to contain Gay, who tallied 15 of his points in the first two
Denver fell behind 43-31 following their ninth turnover of the half, which led
to an emphatic Terrence Ross tomahawk jam. However, after putting together a
10-4 push to close the second, the Nuggets found themselves behind by just two
following a pair of Lawson layups just before the break.
Toronto briefly coughed up the lead in third, but got it back late in the
period to take 82-78 edge into the fourth.
Toronto had lost 15 of its last 17 matchups with the Nuggets coming in ... The
Raptors are now 4-2 since acquiring Gay ... The Nuggets fell to 11-17 on the
road ... Anderson scored 10 off the bench for the Raptors ... Amir Johnson
recorded his 12th straight game with at least one block for Toronto. He had
two for the game and scored eight points ... The Nuggets outscored Raptors in
the paint, 70-34.
The Sports Network