TORONTO (AP)—If only the Toronto Raptors could play like this on the road.
Carter went 14-for-22 from the field for the Raptors, who improved to 4-0 at home and 4-2 for the season.
“We’ve had two back-to-backs on the road and we really haven’t responded to it,” said Carter, whose team is averaging 58 points on the road.
“We have to bring the same focus and killer mentality like we do here. I’m hoping a game like this—that was complete on both ends of the court—will carry over.”
“They are a great defensive team,” Denver’s Jon Barry said. “Give them credit.”
Carter scored 14 points in the third quarter, including a four-point play that gave Toronto a nine-point lead.
Carter also assisted on Morris Peterson’s 3-pointer, which gave Toronto a 87-75 lead with 1:08 remaining.
The 87th point gave fans a free slice of pizza. The Raptors had to score 100 points in years past for fans to get free pizza, but the marketing staff wised up and lowered the pizza threshold for the low-scoring Raptors.
New Raptors coach Kevin O’Neill said he was disappointed in his players for the first time after Friday’s 86-60 loss to Washington. The Raptors scored just four points in the second quarter and entered Sunday’s game averaging an NBA-low 73 points a game.
“Vince played an outstanding game all around,” O’Neill said. “He was really good defensively and I thought he did a good job on the boards.
“He kept things alive, and that’s what you want your superstar to do every night. You want him to control the game in a lot of ways.”
Carter also tightened his defense on Miller, who went scoreless in the fourth quarter. The Nuggets missed 12 of their first 13 shots and trailed by as many as 17 points in the first quarter. Carter had 12 points during the run.
Miller helped cut the lead to five with 12 points, five rebounds and threeassists in the second quarter.
The Raptors activated guard Rick Brunson from the injured list Sunday. The Raptors needed another point guard because starter Alvin Williams’ sore left ankle has limited him to 20 minutes a game. To make room, forward Chris Jefferies was put on the injured list with a lower back strain. … Denver’s Voshon Lenard missed the game with a sprained left ankle. … A fan won a vanby making a 3-pointer during a timeout in the third.