Raptors edge Nuggets 109-108
TORONTO (AP) — Held in check after a great first quarter, Rudy Gay said he wasn't proud of his performance.
None of his Toronto Raptors teammates saw anything to complain about.
Gay hit a pull-up jump shot with less than five seconds remaining and the Raptors beat the short-handed Denver Nuggets 109-108 on Tuesday.
It was the second game-winner in three games for Gay, who beat Indiana with an overtime jumper last Friday.
"He's a big time player," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. "He's a closer."
Only four of Gay's 17 points came after the first, and he spent long stretches of the second half stuck on the bench after landing in foul trouble.
"It just feels good to get a win," said Gay, acquired from Memphis on Jan. 30 in a three-team trade. "Obviously it's a not a game I'm proud of, but I'm proud to get this win."
Denver coach George Karl said before the game that Gay has given the Raptors "a different personality."
"They seem to have more energy," Karl said.
Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson said there's an obvious change in Toronto's confidence since adding Gay to the lineup.
"Rudy brings that because Rudy is a confident person," Lawson said. "He makes big shots."
DeMar DeRozan had 22 points and John Lucas scored 12 of his 14 points in the final quarter as the Raptors won their third straight.
Kyle Lowry had 11 points and 10 assists and Alan Anderson had 10 for Toronto, which made seven 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
Lawson led Denver with 29 points, Kenneth Faried had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Anthony Randolph scored 16.
"It seems like the ball wasn't bouncing our way," Karl said. "A lot of things were going against us."
The Nuggets had to juggle their starting lineup due to the absences of leading scorer Danilo Gallinari (sinus infection) and third-leading scorer Andre Iguodala (strained neck). Corey Brewer started in place of Gallinari, while rookie Evan Fournier took over for Iguodala.
"That's tough," Lawson said. "We didn't know till today so we couldn't really plan for it."
Denver was also depleted by the loss of forward Wilson Chandler, sidelined by a sore groin. Things got worse for the Nuggets when center JaVale McGee left at halftime with a sore left leg.
Andre Miller scored 12 points for the Nuggets, who came in having won nine of their past 10 overall and 15 of their past 17 meetings with Toronto.
Denver lost its second straight after having a nine-game winning streak snapped with a triple OT loss at Boston on Sunday.
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