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111
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Toronto 19 27 25 40 111
Denver 34 26 43 26 129
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6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0021:00 ET7:00 PM CTNaN:� , November 1, 2017
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado  Attendance: 14,072

Defensive-minded Raptors visit Nuggets

DENVER -- The Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics dominated the offseason narrative as if the Eastern Conference were a battle between two teams.

The Toronto Raptors are playing like as though want a say in what happens next spring.

The Raptors (4-2) are a half-game behind the new-look Celtics in the Atlantic Division and are coming off an impressive 99-85 win in Portland on Monday night.

They will be looking for another big win when they visit the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night.

The Raptors have scoring weapons, but they used defense to beat the Trail Blazers.

"We've tweaked our offense, but the major emphasis is still defense," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said after the Monday win.

Toronto faces a Denver team coming off a somewhat successful East Coast road trip that ended with a 116-110 loss to the New York Knicks on Monday. It was the Nuggets' third game in four days, and it looked as if they got on the plane early after falling behind by 23 in the third quarter.

They woke up midway through the third and rallied to take the lead but couldn't sustain it.

"We played with an attack mentality (in the third quarter), like we had nothing to lose," Nuggets coach Michael Malone told the Denver Post after the game. "That got us back in the game. You don't want to get down by 20 before you start playing that way."

Denver (3-4) has played five of its first seven games on the road and now will play three games in four days at Pepsi Center, including a rare back-to-back at home Friday and Saturday.

The Nuggets have had an uneven start to the season, but they might have solved one problem that plagued them in a home loss to Washington on Oct. 23. They committed 24 turnovers in that game and went on their road trip last in the league in turnovers.

They gave the ball away 13 times Monday night and are now 14th in the NBA in turnovers, a big improvement.

Denver will need to keep valuing the ball against a tough defensive team in the Raptors. Toronto has prided itself on defense under Casey, and that hasn't changed. The Raptors held Portland to 38.8 percent shooting overall and 30.8 percent from 3-point range Monday night.

All-Star guard Damian Lillard was the only Trail Blazers starter to shoot better than 50 percent, and while he had a game-high 36 points, the rest of the starters combined for only 32.

"Give credit to Toronto," Portland coach Terry Stotts said after the game. "(The Raptors) were aggressive (defending) our pick-and-rolls, they got their hands on a lot of balls, and when we did get it into the paint, they went after it hard."

The Raptors likely will try to contain Denver's best players Wednesday night. The Nuggets, meanwhile, hope they figured something out in the loss to the Knicks -- the effort they put forth in the second half of the third quarter and in the fourth nearly got them a win.

"That's how we've got to play -- with that type of aggression (and) with that type of sense of urgency," forward Paul Millsap told the Denver Post. "It's something we're figuring out, for sure."

Updated November 1, 2017

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