NBA: Nuggets’ Karl wins 1,000th game as a head coach
TORONTO (AP) – George 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 some fans next to the Nuggets’ bench in the final seconds and was hugged by Denver’s players and assistant coaches at the final buzzer.
Chauncey Billups scored 21 points and Gary Forbes had 15 in place of injured Carmelo Anthony as the Nuggets snapped a two-game skid.
Ex-Nugget Linas Kleiza set season highs with 26 points and 12 rebounds, but Toronto lost its fourth straight. Andrea Bargnani scored 24.
Anthony missed his second straight game because of a sore right knee.
Heat 106, Warriors 84
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Dwyane Wade had 34 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, LeBron James added 25 points, nine assists and seven rebounds and Miami won its season-best seventh straight game with a victory over slumping Golden State.
Miami also established a franchise best with seven consecutive wins by double digits. The Heat moved into first place in the Southeast Division for the first time all season.
Monta Ellis had 20 points and seven assists in Golden State’s season-worst sixth straight loss.
Chris Bosh added 16 points and seven rebounds in the Heat’s fifth consecutive win over Golden State, mired in a 1-11 stretch. The Warriors dropped their fifth straight at Oracle Arena after beginning the season 5-0 at home. They haven’t won on their own floor since Nov. 15 against Detroit.
Golden State played without do-everything guard Stephen Curry, who could be sidelined for an extended period with a sprained right ankle that he re-aggravated Wednesday at San Antonio.
Bulls 88, Lakers 84
CHICAGO (AP) – Derrick Rose had 29 points and nine assists, and Chicago held off a late rally by the Los Angeles Lakers to match a season best with its fourth straight victory.
The Bulls hit eight 3-pointers, three by Rose, who made the shot a key part of his game during the offseason. Reserve swingman Kyle Korver connected on a trio of 3s and scored 13 points for Chicago, which held a 26-13 edge in bench points.
The 84 points marked a season low for the Lakers. The two-time defending NBA champions were led by Kobe Bryant’s 23 points, though he shot just 9 for 23 from the floor.
It was the Bulls’ first win over the Lakers in nearly four years. Los Angeles had won seven straight against Chicago since a 94-89 Bulls victory on Dec. 19, 2006, at the United Center.
Phil Jackson fell to 17-7 in his Lakers coaching career against the Bulls, the team he guided to six NBA championships in the 1990s.
Los Angeles had won three straight since a four-game losing streak.
Knicks 101, Wizards 95
WASHINGTON (AP) – Amare Stoudemire had 36 points and 10 rebounds to help overcome his 11 turnovers, and New York beat Washington for its seventh straight victory.
With New York uber fan and movie director Spike Lee sitting next to Washington’s bench – wearing his Knicks jacket even though he was a guest of Wizards owner Ted Leonsis – 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.
The Knicks have won 12 of 13, and the seven-game spurt is their longest since the 2000-01 season. New York has also won eight consecutive games away from Madison Square Garden, the second-longest road streak in team history.
Gilbert Arenas scored 20 points to lead the Wizards.
Pacers 100, Bobcats 92
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Danny Granger scored 18 points to help Indiana beat Charlotte.
Brandon Rush added 16 points and Mike Dunleavy 15. Roy Hibbert had 13 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and three blocks for the Pacers.
Gerald Wallace led the Bobcats with 26 points. Ex-Pacer Stephen Jackson had 15 points and eight assists, but he shot 7 for 17 from the field and committed seven turnovers.
Indiana made 13 of 31 3-pointers while Charlotte was 3 of 17 from beyond the arc.
The Pacers, who entered leading the NBA in field-goal percentage defense, held the Bobcats to 41 percent shooting.
Timberwolves 109, Pistons 99
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – 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.
Luke Ridnour had 20 points and 10 assists, scoring 11 in the fourth quarter to help the Timberwolves to just their sixth win of the season.
Richard Hamilton scored 26 points and rookie Greg Monroe grabbed 15 rebounds in his first career start for the Pistons, who fell to 2-12 on the road.
The Pistons led by 13 in the first quarter, but were outscored 58-26 in the paint while squandering the lead.
Love had his NBA-leading 18th double-double and grabbed at least 15 boards for the ninth straight game, the longest streak since Ben Wallace did it in 14 consecutive games in 2002-03.
Thunder 97, Hornets 92
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Russell Westbrook had 29 points and 10 assists, Kevin Durant scored 25 points and Oklahoma City beat New Orleans.
Westbrook scored 16 points in the second half, including an 18-foot jumper as he was fouled by Chris Paul to give the Thunder a 93-87 lead with 1:41 to go.
Serge Ibaka had 18 points and nine rebounds, and Jeff Green added 13 points for Oklahoma City (16-8), which won for the third time in four games to pull ahead of the Hornets (14-8) in the Western Conference standings. Westbrook and Durant came in with a league-leading combined average of 51.3 points per game.
David West had 24 points, 13 rebounds and four steals for the Hornets, but scored only six in the second half. Paul had 18 points and five steals, and Marco Belinelli scored 15, but missed a 3-point attempt that could have tied it with a little more than 10 seconds left.
Bucks 97, Rockets 91
MILWAUKEE (AP) – Andrew Bogut had 24 points, 22 rebounds and five blocked shots to lead Milwaukee over Houston as the Bucks finished their homestand 3-1.
It was Bogut’s fourth 20-20 performance of his career and his best rebounding effort since dislocating his right elbow, breaking his hand and wrist in an eye-averting fall last April.
Bogut, the No. 1 overall pick in 2005, had missed five games this season with back spasms, but in his last four games is averaging 20.8 points and 16 rebounds, with the Bucks’ only loss coming to Miami.
Houston went nearly 7 minutes without a field goal and couldn’t rally in the final minute despite 23 points from Kevin Martin.
Spurs 108, Hawks 92
SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Richard Jefferson and Manu Ginobili scored 18 points apiece, and San Antonio won its fourth straight to keep the NBA’s best record, beating Atlanta.
Tony Parker added 17 points for the Spurs, who again denied the Hawks their first victory in San Antonio since 1997. DeJuan Blair had 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Jamal Crawford led the Hawks with 23 points. Atlanta arrived as one of the hottest teams in the East, but lost for just the second time in nine games.
The Hawks dropped to 2-6 against teams currently with winning records, this time giving up a brief fourth-quarter lead against the NBA’s best. The Spurs are 19-3 and kept the fastest start in franchise history going.
Trail Blazers 101, Suns 94
PHOENIX (AP) – Marcus Camby had 16 points and 18 rebounds, Brandon Roy added 26 points and Portland beat Phoenix for its fourth straight win.
The Trail Blazers, one of the NBA’s worst shooting teams, shot 64 percent in the first half and led by as many as 17 to win their third straight over Phoenix, the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last season.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 23 points and Wesley Matthews scored 14 of his 16 in the first half as Portland put Phoenix in a double-digit deficit in its fourth straight home game.
The Suns didn’t defend or shoot well, digging too big of a hole to prevent their third straight loss. Steve Nash had 24 points and Grant Hill added 17.
Jazz 117, Magic 105
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Deron Williams had a season-high 32 points and Utah beat Orlando, scoring the most points that the slumping Magic have allowed all season.
CJ Miles scored 19 of his season-high 26 in the fourth quarter for the Jazz, who swept the Magic this season. Paul Millsap had 22 points and Andrei Kirilenko added 17 to help the Jazz complete a 4-2 homestand.
Jameer Nelson scored 19, Brandon Bass had 18 and Vince Carter 17 points in the Magic’s season-high fourth straight loss.
Pushing the ball against the weary Magic in the third quarter, Williams scored 16 points in the period as the Jazz opened a commanding lead.