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Sunday, Dec. 12, 2010

Karl gets 1,000th win as Nuggets run past Raptors

TORONTO (AP) George Karl found peace and contentment in recording a coaching milestone.

News photo
Intensity: Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook (right) battles the Hornets' Jarrett Jack for the ball in the first half on Friday night. The Thunder won 97-92. AP PHOTO

Karl earned his 1,000th coaching victory, as Al Harrington scored a season-high 31 points and Nene added 26 to help the Denver Nuggets hold off the Toronto Raptors 123-116 on Friday night.

The seventh coach in NBA history with 1,000 wins, Karl also notched his 900th in Toronto, a 114-107 victory on Dec. 31, 2008. He shook hands with spectators as fans next to the Nuggets' bench bowed to him in the final seconds of the game. He was hugged by Denver's players and assistant coaches at the final buzzer.

After doing interviews on the court, Karl shared a moment of "peacefulness and contentment" with his team inside the locker room.

"I just felt together with them, I felt connected with them," Karl said. "A lot of times during an NBA season, the coach and players aren't really connected, they're fighting a lot. This was a moment, not only on the court but in the locker room afterwards, there was a great connection."

Chauncey Billups called it "a moment that you'll never forget."

"He's one of the best coaches I've played for," Billups said. "He's all about winning, he's all about playing the right way and sharing the basketball and everybody having their opportunities out there. I believe that's the way you win basketball games. Obviously, with 1,000 wins, he knows what he's doing."

Karl survived prostate cancer in 2005 and was treated for neck and throat cancer earlier this year, missing the end of last season while undergoing treatment.

"It's unbelievable," Billups said. "He's got 1,000 wins and he beat cancer twice. Those are his biggest wins."

Billups scored 21 points and Gary Forbes had 15 in place of the injured Carmelo Anthony as the Nuggets snapped a two-game losing streak. J.R. Smith scored 11 points for Denver.

Former Nugget Linas Kleiza set season highs with 26 points and 12 rebounds for Toronto.

Knicks 101, Wizards 95

In Washington, Amare Stoudemire had 36 points and 10 rebounds to help overcome his 11 turnovers as New York beat the Wizards for their seventh straight victory.

Stoudemire posted his seventh straight 30-point game. Willie Naulls is the only other player in franchise history with such a run — and he accomplished it way back in 1962.

Bulls 88, Lakers 84

In Chicago, Derrick Rose had 29 points and nine assists as the Bulls held off a late rally by Los Angeles to match a season best with their fourth straight victory.

T-Wolves 109, Pistons 99

In Minneapolis, Kevin Love had 27 points and 18 rebounds, and Darko Milicic blocked a career-high seven shots against the team that drafted him No. 2 overall in 2003, leading Minnesota over Detroit.

Thunder 97, Hornets 92

In New Orleans, Russell Westbrook had 29 points and 10 assists, and Kevin Durant scored 25 points as Oklahoma City beat the Hornets.

Bucks 97, Rockets 91

In Milwaukee, Andrew Bogut had 24 points, 22 rebounds and five blocked shots to lead the Bucks over Houston.

Spurs 108, Hawks 92

In San Antonio, Richard Jefferson and Manu Ginobili scored 18 points each as the Spurs won their fourth straight to keep the NBA's best record, beating Atlanta.

Pacers 100, Bobcats 92

In Indianapolis, Danny Granger scored 18 points to help Indiana beat Charlotte.

Blazers 101, Suns 94

In Phoenix, Marcus Camby had 16 points and 18 rebounds, Brandon Roy added 26 points and Portland beat the Suns for its fourth straight win.

Jazz 117, Magic 105

In Salt Lake City, Deron Williams had a season-high 32 points and Utah beat Orlando, scoring the most points that the slumping Magic have allowed all season.

Heat 106, Warriors 84

In Oakland, Calif., Dwyane Wade had 34 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, LeBron James added 25 points, nine assists and seven rebounds as Miami won its season-best seventh straight game.

Interest in Hornets

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Outgoing Hornets minority owner Gary Chouest said he remains as interested in keeping the NBA in New Orleans as he was when he first invested in the club.

Chouest, who still has his front row seats near the Hornets' bench, attended a home game Friday night against Oklahoma City and briefly spoke about his continued interest in the club as he walked from an owner's suite to his seats shortly before tip-off.

"As far as my future involvement, the purpose hasn't changed as to why I invested from Day 1," Chouest said. "The same situation still exists and the same reasoning for continuing to support the team still exists."

NBA commissioner David Stern said Monday that the league is purchasing the team.



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