Andre Miller's go-ahead layup with 24.9 seconds left lifted the Denver Nuggets to a 111-109 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
With J.J. Hickson defending him on the lower right block, Miller spun around him for the layup to make it 108-106.
LaMarcus Aldridge missed a fadeaway at the other end and Ty Lawson knocked down two free throws with 13 ticks to go. Damian Lillard nailed a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 110-109 with 3.9 ticks on the clock. Miller then split a pair of foul shots with three seconds to go, but Aldridge's left baseline jumper with three-tenths of a second remaining was off the mark.
Lawson had 30 points and six assists, while Andre Iguodala added 29 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and five steals for Denver, which has won three straight games.
"It was kind of funny, we were running a play and he (Lawson) swung it and we got a lousy shot," Karl said. "So I just said to him, 'We're not gonna run any more plays. You've got one option, go into the paint and find it. Find the shot, not someone else.'"
Lillard netted 26 points and Hickson added 18 points and 14 boards for the Blazers, who have dropped eight of their last nine tilts.
"It's tough to come up short at the end of a game that we really needed to win," Lillard said.
Denver took a 31-25 lead after a quarter of play and a 58-50 edge into the break.
Meyers Leonard's dunk in transition with 53 seconds in the third gave Portland its first advantage at 80-79 since it led 17-15 at the 5:05 mark of the first. Leonard then emphatically leapt and dunked over Miller a possession later to give the hosts an 82-79 cushion heading into the final frame.
Portland turned the ball over 19 times, which led to 26 Denver points ... The Nuggets held a 72-42 points in the paint edge ... Aldridge finished with 22 points.