Denver, CO, United States (4E Sports) – The Denver Nuggets overcame their free-throw shooting woes just in time, sinking five pressure-packed charities in the final 18 seconds to keep the Toronto Raptors at bay en route to a close 113-110 victory Monday at Pepsi Center.
Entering the final minute, the Nuggets were just shooting 21-for-37 from the foul line but Andre Miller and Andre Iguodala sank four foul shots while Kenneth Faried split his charities to thwart the Raptors’ comeback try for their ninth win in 18 games.
Corey Brewer led the Nuggets with 19 points off the bench while Faried added 18 points and 10 boards. JaVale Mcgee scored 17 points, six rebounds and five blocks but missed seven foul shots.
Ty Lawson contributed 16 points and Danilo Gallinari had 13 as the Nuggets won despite a poor game from Igoudala, who tallied just four markers on 1-for-5 shooting.
Averaging 15.6 points this season, Iguodala made up for his anemic performance with eight assists while Kosta Koufus had 10 points and 10 boards for the Nuggets, who improved to 5-1 at home.
Kyrie Lowry scored 24 points and Andrea Bargnani added 23 for the Raptors, who lost seven of their last eight games and dropped to 4-12.
DeMar De Rozan added 18 markers, Terrence Ross had 12 and Amir Johnson scored 11 for the Raptors.
The Nuggets grabbed a 103-86 lead after an emphatic dunk by Faried but Lowry scored five in the Raptors’ 11-0 run to cut the deficit to six.
Gallinari sank two foul shots to make it 105-97 before the Raptors scored seven straight points to close in at 105-104.
Lawson buried a triple and Miller made two foul shots to put the Nuggets ahead by six before the Raptors threatened anew with a three-pointer by Lowry.
Iguodala sank two foul shots for a 112-107 edge but Amir Johnson made a three-pointer with seven seconds left. Faried then split his charities for the final count.
The Raptors had a chance to send the game to overtime but DeRozan missed a three-pointer as time expired.