123 - 116 Final
  for this game

Karl gets 1,000th win as Denver tops Toronto

Dec 11, 2010 - 4:12 AM
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Al Harrington poured in a season-high 31 points and pulled down six rebounds, as the Denver Nuggets gave head coach George Karl his 1,000th career win with a 123-116 victory over the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre.

Karl joined Don Nelson, Lenny Wilkens, Pat Riley, Jerry Sloan, Phil Jackson and Larry Brown as the only NBA head coaches to reach the 1,000-win plateau.

"I felt the build up to it. Now it's time to thank all the people that helped me," 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."

Nene added 26 points and six boards for the Nuggets, who snapped a brief two- game skid. Chauncey Billups tallied 21 points and eight assists.

Denver was without superstar Carmelo Anthony (right knee) for a second straight game. Gary Forbes got the start in place of Anthony and donated 15 points and six rebounds.

Linas Kleiza finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds off the bench for the Raptors, who have lost four in a row. Andrea Bargnani ended with 24 points, while Leandro Barbosa and Sonny Weems chipped in with 22 and 21 points, respectively.

Denver led for a majority of the first quarter and held a 39-33 margin after 12 minutes.

The Raptors started the second period on a 13-4 run to go in front. Kleiza tallied seven points during the stretch, including a three-pointer to make it a 46-43 game with nine minutes left until half.

It was 59-56 in favor of Toronto with 5:49 remaining after Kleiza made another shot from beyond the arc. The Nuggets, though, closed the half out on an 18-6 flurry to take the lead back. Harrington's trey made it 74-65 at the break.

Ahead by eight, 78-70, with 9:50 to go in the third, Denver went on a 15-4 run to create some distance. Forbes scored the final eight points during the surge to give the Nuggets a 93-74 margin with 4:43 remaining.

The Raptors got back into the game by scoring the final six points of the frame. It was 98-86 heading to the fourth.

Toronto kept it close in the fourth and was within four, 120-116, on a pair of Barbosa free throws and a Bargnani trey with 46.9 seconds remaining.

Billups made two free throws at the other end to make it a six-point game. After Bargnani missed a three-pointer, Billups made 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to make it 123-116 with 8.2 ticks to go.

"We can't play defense for half a game," Raptors head coach Jay Triano said. "I thought the second half we attempted and that's all I ask of our guys."

Game Notes

Denver won both meetings with Toronto a year ago and is unbeaten in the past seven encounters with the Raptors. The Nuggets, who have won four in a row up north, are 14-5 in the previous 19 matchups in this series...Toronto forward Peja Stojakovic missed his seventh straight game with a knee ailment.