(SportsNetwork.com) - The Eastern Conference leading Toronto Raptors will try to get back into the win column Monday night when they welcome the Denver Nuggets to Air Canada Centre.
The Raptors returned home from a 2-1 western road trip Friday night, but fell to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, 105-91.
Amir Johnson had 27 points for the Raptors and Kyle Lowry scored 22 with nine assists. James Johnson managed 11 off the bench and those were the only three Toronto players in double figures.
James and Kyrie Irving combined to score 17 in the third quarter and the Cavs led by as many as 14. They never let the Raptors get closer than six in the fourth.
"They were hitting on all cylinders, and they were executing as well as you could ask for," said Raptors coach Dwane Casey. "I would say that I know this team tonight wasn't us. Sometimes in the NBA schedule (with) the first game back from a West Coast trip, the worst team you want to see is a team as talented as Cleveland. But again, hats off to them; they spanked us."
The Raptors will get their chance for revenge on the Cavaliers when the two teams meet at Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday.
The Nuggets lost their third in a row on Sunday afternoon, a 96-84 setback in Atlanta to the Hawks.
Wilson Chandler led the Nuggets with 29 points and 10 rebounds. Timofey Mozgov chipped in 14 points with 11 rebounds, and Alonzo Gee added 14 points on 7- of-9 shooting off the bench.
Atlanta completely shut down the Denver offense in the second quarter to jump out to a 57-36 halftime lead. The Nuggets shot 0-for-8 from beyond the arc, and they shot just 28.6 percent from the field in the quarter.
However, the script flipped in the third quarter as the Nuggets were able to get back in the game. While they made just 1-of-8 3-point shots in the quarter, they were 12-of-16 from inside the arc.
In the final 12 minutes, Denver cut the Atlanta lead to single digits four separate times and got it down to as little as seven with 3:35 remaining. On the next two possessions, Kyle Korver nailed a 3-pointer and Jeff Teague hit a layup to rebuild the Hawks' lead to 92-80. Atlanta cruised from there.
"We played better defensively in the second half," said Nuggets coach Brian Shaw. "The common denominator in terms of how that turned around is Alonzo Gee. We ended up getting 11 turnovers on them in the second half."
The two teams have split the last six meetings, but the Nuggets have won five of their last six appearances north of the border.