Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/9

Game 1: Sunday, November 9th
Game 2: Tuesday, December 30th

Nuggets 76


Raptors 89

(4-2, 4-0 home)

12:30 PM ET, November 9, 2003

Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON

1 2 3 4 T
DEN 13 32 18 1376
TOR 26 24 20 1989

Top Performers

Denver: A. Miller 18 Pts, 11 Reb, 8 Ast

Toronto: V. Carter 34 Pts, 10 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Blk

Raptors improve to 4-0 at home

Associated Press

TORONTO -- If only the Toronto Raptors could play like this on the road.

Vince Carter had 34 points, 10 rebounds and six assists to lead the Raptors to an 89-76 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.

Carter went 14-for-22 from the field for the Raptors, who improved to 4-0 at home and 4-2 for the season.

"We've had two back-to-backs on the road and we really haven't responded to it," said Carter, whose team is averaging 58 points on the road.

"We have to bring the same focus and killer mentality like we do here. I'm hoping a game like this -- that was complete on both ends of the court -- will carry over."

Milt Palacio added 14 points and six assists, and Jerome Williams had 13 rebounds.

Andre Miller had 18 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for the Nuggets, who shot just 35 percent. Rookie Carmelo Anthony had 19 points.

"They are a great defensive team," Denver's Jon Barry said. "Give them credit."

Carter scored 14 points in the third quarter, including a four-point play that gave Toronto a nine-point lead.

He assisted on Lamond Murray's layup and Chris Bosh's dunk before making a driving one-handed jumper, giving Toronto an 84-73 lead with 2:15 left.

Carter also assisted on Morris Peterson's 3-pointer, which gave Toronto a 87-75 lead with 1:08 remaining.

The 87th point gave fans a free slice of pizza. The Raptors had to score 100 points in years past for fans to get free pizza, but the marketing staff wised up and lowered the pizza threshold for the low-scoring Raptors.

New Raptors coach Kevin O'Neill said he was disappointed in his players for the first time after Friday's 86-60 loss to Washington. The Raptors scored just four points in the second quarter and entered Sunday's game averaging an NBA-low 73 points a game.

"Vince played an outstanding game all around," O'Neill said. "He was really good defensively and I thought he did a good job on the boards.

"He kept things alive, and that's what you want your superstar to do every night. You want him to control the game in a lot of ways."

Carter also tightened his defense on Miller, who went scoreless in the fourth quarter. The Nuggets missed 12 of their first 13 shots and trailed by as many as 17 points in the first quarter. Carter had 12 points during the run.

Miller helped cut the lead to five with 12 points, five rebounds and three assists in the second quarter.

Notes: The Raptors activated guard Rick Brunson from the injured list Sunday. The Raptors needed another point guard because starter Alvin Williams' sore left ankle has limited him to 20 minutes a game. To make room, forward Chris Jefferies was put on the injured list with a lower back strain. ... Denver's Voshon Lenard missed the game with a sprained left ankle. ... A fan won a van by making a 3-pointer during a timeout in the third.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 76 89
FGM-FGA 26-75 (.347) 37-76 (.487)
3PM-3PA 2-7 (.286) 5-13 (.385)
FTM-FTA 22-26 (.846) 10-13 (.769)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-39 11-41
Assists 11 25
Turnovers 13 13
Steals 6 5
Blocks 6 3
Fast Break Points 8 9
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 15 (0/0) 20 (0/0)

Top Performers

Andre Miller Miller
Points: 18
Reb: 11
Ast: 8
Stl: 0
Blk: 0
Vince Carter Carter
Points: 34
Reb: 10
Ast: 6
Stl: 0
Blk: 1