NBA: George Karl found peace and contentment in recording a coaching milestone.
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.
Karl is the seventh coach in NBA history with 1,000 wins. He shook hands with spectators as fans next to the Nuggets’ bench bowed to him in the final seconds of the game.
After doing radio and television 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.
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.”
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.”
• Stoudemire, Knicks streak: The New York Knicks have their longest winning streak in nearly a decade, and Amare Stoudemire has the type of streak the franchise hasn’t seen since 1962.
Stoudemire had 36 points and 10 rebounds to help overcome his 11 turnovers, and December’s turnaround team won its seventh in a row, beating Washington 101-95.
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.
• Rose, Bulls break Lakers’ spell: Derrick Rose had 29 points and nine assists, and Chicago held off a late rally by Los Angeles for an 88-84 win.
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.
• Blazers heat up: Marcus Camby had 16 points and 18 rebounds, Brandon Roy added 26 points and Portland beat Phoenix 101-94 for its fourth straight win. The 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.
• Wade paces Heat: Dwyane Wade had 34 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, LeBron James added 25 points, nine assists and seven rebounds and the Miami Heat won their season-best seventh straight game with a 106-84 victory over cold-shooting Golden State.
Cust, Mariners make one-year deal official
Baseball: The Mariners finalized a $2.5 million, one-year contract with left-handed slugger Jack Cust to become Seattle’s primary designated hitter.
Cust spent the past four seasons with Seattle’s A.L. West rival Oakland and likely will become the Mariners’ DH.
• Red Sox add Crawford: The Boston Red Sox confirmed their agreement with speedy outfielder Carl Crawford and scheduled a news conference for today. Crawford reached a preliminary agreement on a $142 million, seven-year contract Wednesday night.
• Angels, Downs have three-year deal: The Los Angeles Angels and reliever Scott Downs agreed to a $15 million, three-year deal. Downs, one of the top middle relievers on the free-agent market, went 5-5 with a 2.64 ERA in 67 games for the Toronto Blue Jays last season.
• Astros sign Rowland-Smith: The Houston Astros signed Aussie left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith to a one-year, $725,000 deal. Rowland-Smith went 1-10 with a 6.75 ERA in 27 games with Seattle last season.
Wings back on track
NHL: The Red Wings got back to what works for them, using a steady, patient attack to wear down the NHL’s best and then relying on Jimmy Howard to do the rest.
Carey Price, who entered the game with a league-leading 17 victories, didn’t give the Wings anything until a 5-on-3 late in the first period, but then surrendered another two goals in the second period en route to Detroit’s 4-2 victory at Joe Louis Arena. It’s the first win in four games for the Wings.
• Brodeur’s return spoiled: Milan Michalek and Jarkko Ruutu scored 2:16 apart midway through the second, spoiling Martin Brodeur’s return to New Jersey’s lineup in the Ottawa Senators’ 3-2 victory over the Devils. Brodeur made 26 saves in his first appearance in eight games following a right elbow injury as the Devils’ losing streak stretched to four.
Bull rider Harris wins third straight title
Rodeo: Texas bull rider J.W. Harris wrapped up his third straight world title Friday night with a second-place finish in the ninth round of the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
Harris, from Mullin, had an 89.5-point ride on Insaniac, his seventh successful ride – two more than any other cowboy – in the first nine rounds. He has earned $194,287 this season and has clinched the NFR aggregate championship – worth another $44,910 tonight.
Colbert’s Tyson Durfey finished out of the money in the ninth round of tie-down roping with an 8.8-second effort. Ryan Jarrett’s winning time of 7.1 was worth $17,512.
Hens win quarterfinal
Miscellany: Pat Devlin threw for 261 yards and two touchdowns and Delaware beat New Hampshire 16-3 in the quarterfinals of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs in Newark, Del.
The Blue Hens (11-2) will host the semis against the winner of today’s game between Wofford and Georgia Southern.
• College basketball coach dies: Officials at La Roche College in Pittsburgh say the head coach of the school’s men’s basketball team has died after collapsing at practice. Lang, who was in his early 40s, had coached at the Division III school for 18 years, and been head coach of the men’s team for 14 years.