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Raptors bury Nuggets

Mar 29, 2012 - 2:54 AM Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Andrea Bargnani poured in 26 points to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 105-96 victory over the Denver Nuggets at Air Canada Centre on Wednesday.

"It was fun out there tonight," said Bargnani after the win. "I had so many open threes and I hit a couple of tough ones too."

DeMar DeRozan tallied 17 points, Linas Kleiza chipped in 15 and Jose Calderon recorded his 10th double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 assists to snap a two-game losing streak for the Raptors.

Ty Lawson scored 26 points and handed out nine assists, Aaron Afflalo netted 15 points and Wilson Chandler added 13 points and eight rebounds as the Nuggets dropped to 1-3 on their seven-game road trek.

With the game tied at 85, the Raptors went almost four minutes without a field goal to open the fourth, allowing the Nuggets to jump out to a 94-88 lead on Andre Miller's layup.

But Denver went without a field goal over the final eight minutes of the game as the Raptors ripped off a 17-2 run to close out the contest.

Bargnani sank the go-ahead jumper with 5:31 left and added a three-point dagger with the shot clock running down almost three minutes later to give Toronto a decisive 103-96 lead.

"Honestly I don't know," said Afflalo when asked about Denver's drought late in the fourth. "Bargnani hit a couple of shots down the stretch, we missed a couple of shots. They were fortunate to hit some threes and we missed some layups that would have helped us down the stretch."

Bargnani had it going early in the game, as he scored the first seven points of the contest and finished the quarter with 10 points overall to push the Raptors to a 27-22 lead.

Toronto was up by as many as nine in the second after a DeRozan free throw with 3:09 left, but the Nuggets reeled off a 13-3 surge to take their first lead of the game, 53-52, before Kleiza hit a deep buzzer-beating three, sending the Raptors into the locker room clinging to a 55-53 edge.

Kleiza added another triple early in the third to give the home team a six point edge, but a 14-2 run ensued from the Nuggets, capped by Lawson's trey that gave the visitors a 69-63 advantage with 7:44 left in the third.

The Denver lead was six again after Chandler's layup made it 80-74 with, but the Nuggets failed to score another field goal in the quarter, allowing the Raptors to tie the game at 85 heading into the final frame.

Game Notes

The Nuggets will resume their seven-game road trip in Charlotte on Friday, while the Raptors will welcome the Heat on Friday...Denver, Utah -- which also lost on Wednesday -- and Houston all hold 27-24 records as they battle for the final two playoff spots, with Denver on the outside looking in as they hold the worst conference record...The Nuggets had won nine straight against Toronto, dating back to 2004-05...Bargnani became the fourth Raptor to score 6,000 career points (6,013).