Dec 1, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas (17) and Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov (25) fight for a rebound during the third quarter of a game at the Air Canada Centre. Denver won the game 112-98. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Preview: Toronto Raptors (24-21) vs. Denver Nuggets (22-22)

The Denver Nuggets (22-22) look to avenge a loss they suffered to the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night as they host a surprising team from the Eastern Conference in the Toronto Raptors. Denver lost a key player in the first quarter against the Bobcats as Nate Robinson went down with what was classified as an ACL sprain. They were already without their star point guard in Ty Lawson who is day-to-day with a shoulder injury.

What: Regular Season: Toronto Raptors vs. Denver Nuggets
When: Friday, January 31st
Where: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
Time: 9:00 PM ET, 7:00 PM MT
TV: Altitude Sports

This is the second and final meeting between the Eastern and Western Conference teams. The Nuggets took the first meeting in Toronto as their bench exploded. The bench had four players who scored in double-figures led by Nate Robinson. Nate would shoot 9-of-14 from the field knocking down 5-of-8 three-pointers for 23 points and 5 assists. Timofey Mozgov was a beast in the lane as the 7-footer recorded a double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds, with a player efficiency rating of +26 according to ESPN.

Toronto’s team looks totally different from the last time Denver had seen them. Their leading scorer from the last game they played was Rudy Gay who is now on the Sacramento Kings. They received a package in Greivis Vasquez, Chuck Hayes, John Salmons, and Patrick Patterson for Gay, Quincy Acy, and Aaron Gray. Kyle Lowry has stepped up since the acquisition of Gay as the point guard has scored 30+ points in back-to-back games against Brooklyn and Orlando.

Despite being bit by the injury bug including Danilo Gallinari and JaVale McGee, Denver still finds themselves in the playoff hunt as Darrell Arthur returned to action Wednesday night against the Bobcats. They will need Ty Lawson to heal up to try to push for an eighth-seed or possibly even the seventh.

Projected Starting Line-Ups:

Toronto Raptors:

PG: Kyle Lowry
SG: DeMar DeRozan/Greivis Vasquez
SF: Terrance Ross
PF: Amir Johnson
C: Jonas Valanciunas

Denver Nuggets:

PG: Ty Lawson/Evan Fournier
SG: Randy Foye
SF: Wilson Chandler
PF: Kenneth Faried
C: J.J. Hickson

Tags: Denver Nuggets

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