Thu, Mar 18, 2010 - Page 20 News List

George Karl return inspires Nuggets to win over Wizards


The Denver Nuggets welcomed coach George Karl back to the bench after cancer treatment with a 97-87 win over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday.

With Karl resuming his duties after a four-game absence due to treatment for neck and throat cancer, Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Nuggets (46-22) won their seventh game in eight.

“He told us before the game he wasn’t going to do too much,” Anthony told reporters. “It’s just good to have him on the sidelines with us. Even though he can’t say much the message is getting to us.”

Denver held a slender two-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, but outscored their opponents 32-24 the rest of the way, reserve J.R. Smith bagging 13 of his 17 in the last 12 minutes.

Washington forward Andray Blatche had 23 points and eight rebounds but hurt his ankle in the fourth quarter and had to leave the game.

The Wizards held a 45-39 lead at halftime before fading and losing their ninth game in a row.

The win moved Denver into sole possession of second place in the Western Conference, four games behind the Los Angeles Lakers.

“[Karl] before the game, wins are the best treatment for him,” said Nuggets forward Joey Graham said. “Hopefully we can keep this team rolling and win a championship for him and he’ll be completely healed. That’s the plan.”


At Auburn Hills, Michigan, Le­Bron James had 29 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists in his fourth triple-double of the season, lifting the Cleveland Cavaliers to victory over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.

Cleveland has won four in a row and lost only one of its last 11 games, improving to an NBA-best 53-15 win-loss record.

Richard Hamilton had 24 points and was one of six Pistons who scored in double figures.


At Miami, Manu Ginobili scored 22 points, George Hill had 16 and surging San Antonio wasted most of a 25-point, third-quarter lead before beating Miami.

Richard Jefferson added 15 points and Tim Duncan had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Spurs.

Dwyane Wade scored 28 points for Miami, which lost for the first time in its last seven home games. Jermaine O’Neal added 13 points and Udonis Haslem finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Heat, who missed a chance to move past Charlotte for the No. 6 spot in the East race. Charlotte lost at Indiana.

In other games it was:

• Lakers 106, Kings 99

• Suns 152, Timberwolves 114

• Pacers 99, Bobcats 94

• Hawks 108, Nets 84

• Grizzlies 104, Bulls 97

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