Cancer survivor George Karl recorded his 1,000th coaching victory as the Denver Nuggets rode Al Harrington’s season-high 31 points to a 123-116 win over Toronto on Friday.
Karl missed the end of the last NBA season while being treated for neck and throat cancer. He also survived prostate cancer in 2005.
“It’s unbelievable,” Nuggets player Chauncey Billups said. “He’s got 1,000 wins and he beat cancer twice. Those are his biggest wins.”
Harrington also grabbed six rebounds while Nene scored 26 points for the Nuggets, who made Karl the seventh coach in NBA history with 1,000 wins.
Billups scored 21 points and Gary Forbes had 15 as Denver snapped a two-game losing streak. J.R. Smith added 11 points in the victory.
Former Nugget Linas Kleiza finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds, while Leandro Barbosa matched his season best with 22 points for the Raptors, who lost their fourth-consecutive game. The struggling Raptors have also dropped six of their past eight.
BULLS 88, LAKERS 84
In Chicago, Derrick Rose had 29 points and nine assists as the Chicago Bulls held off a late rally by the Los Angeles Lakers for an 88-84 victory on Friday night at the United Center arena.
It was the Bulls’ first win in nearly four years over the Lakers, who scored a season low.
The Bulls hit eight three-pointers, of which Rose scored three.
Bulls Kyle Korver also connected on a trio of threes and finished with 13 points for Chicago, who held a 26-13 edge in points off the bench.
The two-time defending NBA champion Lakers were led by Kobe Bryant’s 23 points. Bryant shot a dismal nine of 23 from the field.
The Lakers had won seven consecutive games against the Bulls since a 94-89 Chicago win in December 2006 at the United Center.
HEAT 106, WARRIORS 84
In Oakland, California, Dwyane Wade had 34 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, while LeBron James added 25 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, as Miami won their 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.
KNICKS 101, WIZARDS 95
In Washington, Amare Stoudemire had 36 points and 10 rebounds to help overcome his 11 turnovers as New York beat Washington 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.
Gilbert Arenas scored 20 points to lead the Wizards.
PACERS 100, BOBCATS 92
In Indianapolis, Indiana, Danny Granger scored 18 points to help Indiana beat Charlotte.
Brandon Rush added 16 points, while 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 seven for 17 from the field and committed seven turnovers.