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Brewer leads Nuggets past Raptors 113-110

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Brewer leads Nuggets past Raptors 113-110

DENVER (AP) Corey Brewer scored 19 points, JaVale McGee had 17 points and five blocks, and the Denver Nuggets withstood a late rally to beat the Toronto Raptors 113-110 on Monday night.

Andrea Bargnani scored 23 points for Toronto and Kyle Lowry had 24, including 12 in the fourth quarter when the Raptors cut a 17-point lead to one with 2:18 left.

The Nuggets led 103-86 on a dunk by Kenneth Faried midway through the fourth before Toronto came storming back. The Raptors scored 11 straight points before Danilo Gallinari hit two free throws.

A 3-pointer by rookie Terrence Ross and two free throws by Lowry made it 105-104. Ty Lawson, who finished with 16 points, hit a 3-pointer and Toronto missed its next three shots as Denver built a 110-104 cushion.

Lowry hit another 3 with 14 seconds left, and after two free throws from Andre Iguodala, Amir Johnson hit a 3 with 7.9 seconds remaining to make it 112-110.

Faried hit one of two free throws with 5.8 seconds left and DeMar DeRozan missed a long 3 at the buzzer.

Faried had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Six players scored in double figures for Denver.

The Nuggets looked as though they would cruise to their first win in four games. They led 61-44 at halftime and maintained a double-digit lead throughout the third quarter.

Denver trailed 22-19 when it took control late in the first quarter. Brewer came off the bench and had two quick dunks and a layup to spark a 10-2 run to finish the period.

Brewer continued his tear in the second quarter. He scored nine points in 2:30 and McGee had an alley-oop dunk among his 11 first-half points to help Denver take a 38-26 lead before Toronto called a timeout.

Denver didn't let up. Jordan Hamilton scored six straight points to push the lead to 53-34 with 4:15 left in the first half. The Nuggets continued to turn missed shots and turnovers into easy baskets, outscoring Toronto 13-0 on the fast break in the first half.

NOTES: Raptors F Linas Kleiza (sore left hip) did not play. He had an MRI on Monday afternoon but the results were not available yet. ... Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler, who has missed the last 10 games while trying to recover from offseason surgery on his left hip, will not join the team on its upcoming five-game road trip.

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2018 MLB Power Rankings: All-Star update

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2018 MLB Power Rankings: All-Star update

The All-Star break is a perfect opportunity to sit down and re-evaluate the landscape of Major League Baseball. As it turns out, however, there aren't as many meaningful moves as one might expect.

The unrivaled dominance of the Astros, Red Sox, and Yankees sets us up for a wildly entertaining October, and the uber-talented rosters of the Indians, Cubs and Dodgers will make noise as well. Still, it means the top three (and, moving down, the next three to four teams) in our power rankings haven't experienced much variance in 2018.

The gap between the haves and the have-nots has never been more pronounced than it is in this era, which means the bottom-four teams have stayed pretty steady since May. Yes, the Reds have made a nice jump since Jim Riggleman took over, and the Orioles are about 15 spots lower than we had them in March, but none of the major moves will have any real impact on who we expect to win the World Series this year.

That doesn't mean it's not worthwhile to see where each team stands, however, and these are certainly still subject to change. The Nationals, for example, have enough talent and starpower on the roster to jump into the top six or seven teams as a legitimate title contender at some point.  

The stars are out in D.C. this week, as baseball converges onto the nation's capital. Are the hometown team's stars enough to keep the roster in the conversation for the playoffs? 

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