Karl returns from cancer treatments

DENVER -- Nuggets coach George Karl was back on the bench Tuesday night against the Washington Wizards after missing four games over the past week for cancer treatments.

"He said before the game that wins are the best treatment for him," Nuggets guard Joey Graham said after Denver's 97-87 victory. "Hopefully, we can keep this thing rolling and win a championship for him and he'll be completely healed. That's the plan."

Karl is battling neck and throat cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments regularly for a six-week period. Last Monday, he had a surgical procedure to insert a feeding tube into his stomach.

Initially, Karl planned to rejoin the team Friday for its game in New Orleans, but needed additional time to adjust to the insertion of the tube. He did not hold his normal pregame news conference Tuesday because of lingering pain in his throat and a desire to preserve his voice for the game.

"Seeing him coming back in a happy manner, despite all the things he's going through, and to see him not down, we know deep down inside, it's a tough task for him," Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony said. "For him to come in and see us, and we can uplift his spirits, makes us feel good.

"He told us before the game he wasn't going to do too much. He was going to let [Adrian Dantley] continue to do what he's doing and he was going to chime in here and there. It's just good to have him on the sidelines with us. Our focus level went up."

The Nuggets went 3-1 under acting head coach Dantley during the just-concluded road trip.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report