Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 11/15

Game 1: Friday, November 15th
Game 2: Tuesday, March 11th

Raptors 87

(20-41, 8-22 away)

Nuggets 95


    Coverage: FSRM

    7:00 PM ET, March 11, 2003

    Pepsi Center, Denver, CO

    1 2 3 4 T
    TOR 16 16 21 3487
    DEN 27 27 16 2595

    Top Performers

    Toronto: V. Carter 21 Pts, 3 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Denver: J. Howard 24 Pts, 11 Reb, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Bowen's defense on Carter shuts down Raptors

    DENVER (AP) -- Three days earlier, Toronto's Vince Carter scored a season-high 43 points against Atlanta. The Denver Nuggets vowed not to let it happen Tuesday night, and Ryan Bowen made sure.


    Bowen stole a pass intended for Carter on Toronto's first trip down the floor and held Carter without a point in the first six minutes, and the Nuggets went on to beat the Raptors 95-87.

    Juwan Howard had 24 points and 11 rebounds as the Nuggets snapped a seven-game home losing streak.

    "Ryan Bowen got us off to a great start, which is what we hoped for,'' Nuggets coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "Ryan was up and into Vince, and that set the tone. He picked him up above the arc. He wasn't deferring to him.''

    Carter led Toronto with 21 points, but he didn't score after getting 11 points early in the third quarter to spark a Raptors comeback that cut the deficit to 13.

    "I wanted to make it hard for him to catch it,'' Bowen said, "and when he did catch it, I knew I was going to have help. Juwan did a great job of helping. I was just trying to force him into Juwan most of the night.

    "We took away the easy baskets he gets in transition. We did a pretty good job on him.''

    Carter was complimentary of the Nuggets defense, even if he didn't seem to know the identity of his main tormentor.

    Asked about Bowen's defense, Carter said, "Who? I don't know. I think they did a great defensive job as a team. I was getting by one man, but it was the next man that was there. That's a sign of a good team, when your team defense is playing that well.''

    Toronto coach Lenny Wilkens had a different opinion of his own team's defense.

    "Our defense was just horrendous,'' Wilkens said. "We didn't help or rotate the way we are capable of. We didn't talk on defense. When you get off to a bad start like that, then it's an uphill climb and you take quick shots, trying to make it all up at once. We're not that good.

    "I get very angry after a game like this. We have been playing hard, and to have a game like that is disappointing.''

    Howard scored 17 points in the first half as the Nuggets built a 54-32 lead.

    After Carter's early third-quarter spurt, the Nuggets pushed the lead back to 25 points with 5:22 remaining before a late Toronto rally trimmed it to eight.

    Jelani McCoy had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Toronto.

    Chris Andersen had 12 points, and Rodney White scored all 10 of his points in the final period for Denver, which outshot Toronto 39 percent to 34 percent. Denver also enjoyed a 14-5 edge in steals.

    Nene Hilario scored five of Denver's first 12 points as the Nuggets jumped out to a 12-2 lead. The Raptors missed their first five shots and had two turnovers to that point.

    Morris Peterson's driving layup cut the deficit to three points, 19-16, but the Nuggets then scored the last eight points of the quarter, including a short jumper by Howard, who had 10 points in the quarter.

    Outshooting Toronto 38 percent to 24 percent in the second period, the Nuggets padded their lead to 22 points by halftime.

    Bowen's three-point play on a driving layup and free throw, coupled with Nikoloz Tskitishvili's 3-pointer, made it 41-25 midway through the quarter. After Carter missed two free throw attempts, Howard hit a baseline jumper to push Denver's lead to 51-30.

    Carter scored 11 of Toronto's first 16 points in the third quarter, including back-to-back 3-pointers, as the Raptors got within 13, 61-48. But Howard's short jumper pushed the lead to 70-53 at the end of the period.

    White and Andersen combined to score Denver's first 14 points of the final quarter, and White's driving layup made it 88-63 with 5:22 remaining.

    Rafer Alston hit a pair of 3-pointers in a 15-1 flurry, and the Raptors cut the lead to single digits in the final minute.

    Game notes

    Toronto's Jerome Williams (sprained neck) did not play. Lindsey Hunter (sore back, sore hip) did not make the trip. Maceo Baston was not with the team, having flown to Dallas to attend to a personal matter. But Mamadou N'diaye did return to the lineup after missing the last 52 games with a stress fracture in his right heel. ... Toronto began a five-game, seven-day road trip. ... Despite the win, the Nuggets have lost 15 of their last 17 games. ... The Nuggets won for just the fourth time in 29 games when they've shot below 40 percent.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 87 95
    FGM-FGA 26-76 (.342) 35-90 (.389)
    3PM-3PA 8-19 (.421) 3-7 (.429)
    FTM-FTA 27-39 (.692) 22-33 (.667)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-45 15-52
    Assists 21 23
    Turnovers 19 15
    Steals 5 14
    Blocks 11 11
    Fast Break Points 7 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (0/0) 31 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Vince Carter Carter
    Points: 21
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2
    Juwan Howard Howard
    Points: 24
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1