January 1, 2009

Happy Ne-new Year! Nene scores 21 in Nuggs New Years Eve win

Well at least it wasn't a 39 point loss and no head coach was fired. The Raps were without Jason Kapono (thigh injury) and Jermaine O'Neal (knee injury) in the starting lineup last night. Andrea Bargnani and Anthony Parker filled the gaps for the Raps who were playing their first home game after their 6-game Western road trip. Denver head coach, George Karl was going for his 900th career coaching win.

The tough part about coming home for the Raps was having to go against the Chauncey Billups and the Denver Nuggets shorthanded. Nene made his return to the Nuggets after missing their last game due to injury and came out strong. The Raps played a good first half against Nene's Nuggets and were only down three at halftime. In the third quarter, Jose Calderon hit a three to go up on the Nuggets by one and then hit another three later in the quarter to get up three. The third quarter remained tight until Denver made a push to go up by eight at the end of the third. Andrea Bargnani who has been up and down this season, performed well filling in for J.O at centre. He had 11 points in the first half and continued to hit shots in the second half. In the fourth quarter, Anthony Parker found Joey Graham for the open layup to get within two with only 4 minutes left. And then Chauncey Billups, Mr. Big Shot hit a big shot three to get up by six on the Raps. In the final seconds, Anthony Parker hit a three to get within four but the Raps couldn't get any closer as the Nuggets won 114-107.

Key Notes
Denver had 7 players in double figures
All of the Raptors starters were in double figures
Andrea Bargnani broke out with 26 pts, 6 boards and 5 blocks
Bosh had 24 pts and 11 boards
Nene led the Nuggets with 21 points and 7 rebounds

The Raps have another tough home matchup as they face the Houston Rockets Friday night.

Photo credit: (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)


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