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By Frank Pingue
TORONTO, Feb 12 (Reuters) - The Toronto Raptors squandered an early lead and withstood a furious rally by the Denver Nuggets for a 109-108 victory over one of the National Basketball Association's hottest teams on Tuesday.
The Raptors, who led by as many as 13 points late in the first quarter, got 22 from DeMar DeRozan and moved to within six games of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Trailing by one point with five seconds remaining, Toronto's Rudy Gay drained a game-winning two-pointer. Ty Lawson's attempt to give the visitors the win bounced off the rim as the final buzzer sounded.
For Denver, playing in their first game since the team's longest winning streak in nearly eight years ended in Sunday's heartbreaking loss to the Boston Celtics, the loss was their fourth in 19 games. (Editing by Peter Rutherford)