Rudy Fernandez scored a season-high 23 in his return from a sore Achilles as the Denver Nuggets beat the short-handed Toronto Raptors 96-81 on Friday night.
Danilo Gallinari added 21 points and Nene had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets in their sixth straight win. They capitalised on a Toronto line-up that was missing leading scorer Andrea Bargnani, out indefinitely after aggravating a strained left calf this week.
The Raptors took a while to adjust to his absence, and by the time they did, it was too late as they fell to 0-7 in games Bargnani has been sidelined.
They missed 14 of their first 15 shots, fell behind 16-2, scored just a dozen points in the first quarter and trudged off the court at halftime trailing 54-32.