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Friday, April 9, 2010

Nelson sets wins record

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Don Nelson emerged from the Golden State Warriors locker room all disheveled from a wild celebration after finally overtaking Lenny Wilkens as the NBA's winningest coach.

News photo
Career night: Golden State's Anthony Tolliver goes up for a shot against Minnesota on Wednesday night. The Warriors beat the Timberwolves 116-107. AP PHOTO

His gray hair was soaked to the scalp not with Dom Perignon, but a concoction of fizzy soft drinks after a 116-107 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night gave Nelson win No. 1,333 for his career.

Anthony Tolliver scored a career-high 34 points for the Warriors in the win.

"We didn't have any champagne bottles, so we took some Sprite and some Mountain Dew and some water and sprayed it all over him," said Anthony Tolliver, who scored a career-high 34 points.

How appropriate, because the road to this record has been anything but smooth and easy for one of the league's true mavericks.

"It's just such a neat feeling," Nelson said. "This is probably why we end up coaching, for moments like this."

In 31 seasons on the bench, Nelson is 1,333-1,061 in a career that has made stops in Milwaukee, Golden State (twice), New York and Dallas. He won five titles as a player, has been named coach of the year three times, but has never made an NBA Finals as a coach.

Through it all, Nelson has always done it his way. He's clashed with players, management and ownership at various stops along the way and is the only coach with at least 1,000 career victories who has yet to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Stephen Curry had 27 points, 14 assists, eight rebounds and a career-high seven steals for Golden State.

Bobcats 104, Hornets 103

In New Orleans, Charlotte clinched its first playoff berth since its founding six years ago, as Stephen Jackson scored 29 points.

Celtics 115, Raptors 104

In Toronto, Rajon Rondo scored 21 points, Paul Pierce had 20 and Boston capitalized on Chris Bosh's absence in a win over the Raptors.

Nuggets 98, Thunder 94

In Oklahoma City, Chauncey Billups scored 31 points and Carmelo Anthony added 24 as Denver rallied past the Thunder.

Suns 112, Spurs 101

In Phoenix, Amare Stoudemire scored 29 points and the Suns dominated San Antonio.

Blazers 93, Clippers 85

In Los Angeles, LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and 12 rebounds, Brandon Roy added 23 points and Portland ran past the Clippers.

Magic 121, Wizards 94

In Orlando, Dwight Howard had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and the Magic routed Washington.

Mavericks 110, Grizzlies 84

In Dallas, Caron Butler scored 23 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 22 points and nine rebounds, and the Mavericks blew out Memphis.

Rockets 113, Jazz 96

In Houston, Aaron Brooks and Kevin Martin scored 28 points apiece, and Rick Adelman became the 11th coach to reach 900 career victories in the Rockets' win over Utah.

Bucks 108, Nets 89

In Milwaukee, John Salmons scored 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting and the Bucks beat New Jersey after clinching a playoff berth a day earlier.

Heat 99, 76ers 95

In Miami, Dwyane Wade scored eight of his 22 points in the final four minutes and the surging Heat rallied past Philadelphia for their ninth straight win.

Pistons 90, Hawks 88

In Auburn Hills, Mich., Ben Gordon scored 22 points to lead injury-riddled Detroit over Atlanta.

Pacers 113, Knicks 105

In Indianapolis, Danny Granger scored 33 points to help Indiana beat New York for its 10th win in the last 11 home games.

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