Nellie has a great return to Dallas

Tuesday, November 7th 2006, 6:30 am
By: News On 6

Don Nelson was the coach who helped make the Dallas Mavericks the successful franchise it is.

He is also the coach who ruined their night to celebrate their most recent achievement _ reaching the NBA finals last season.

The Golden State Warriors, the team Nelson took over this summer for a second time at age 66, beat the Mavericks, the team he coached from 1998-05, 107-104 on Monday night.

``I never expected this win,'' Nelson said. ``I didn't think we'd be able to beat a good team at this point of the season, but I was wrong. I'm very proud of my squad. You take the win when you can get it.''

Nelson and Mavs owner Mark Cuban are squabbling over $6 million, which is likely why there was no formal recognition for the winningest coach in Mavs history. Still, he received a warm ovation from fans and took pride in the unveiling of a banner recognizing Dallas for being the 2005-06 Western Conference champions.

``At 66, you don't find a lot of emotion except for love and death. But it was a special (night) for me,'' Nelson said.

In other NBA games, it was: Chicago 110, Milwaukee 85; Utah 103, Detroit 101; San Antonio 105, New York 93; Sacramento 93, Minnesota 81; the Los Angeles Clippers 102, Portland 89; and Orlando 106, Washington 103.

``It was like a player being traded, coming back and wanted to do well against his old team,'' said Golden State's Jason Richardson, who scored 22 points. ``He wanted this game and we wanted to play hard and get it for him.''

Baron Davis scored 26 points and Troy Murphy added 20 for the Warriors, who beat the Mavericks for the four straight time and fourth in a row in Dallas. Golden State was the only team that beat the Mavs three times last season.

``I don't know what it is,'' Richardson said. ``Maybe we just like these rims.''

Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 26 points and Devin Harris scored 17 in his first start of the season.

The Mavericks fell to 0-3 for the first time since 1993-94, not exactly the start the club expected coming off its first trip to the finals.

``It's still early, we've got 79 games left,'' forward Greg Buckner said. ``But we've got to press a little bit. We can't keep saying 'It's still early' and lose six more.''

Richardson put Golden State ahead 107-97 with a layup with 2:26 left. Dallas rallied to get within three points, but Jerry Stackhouse missed a 3-point attempt with about 5 seconds left. Anthony Johnson got the rebound and headed for the 3-point line. He instead passed to Harris in the corner. Harris passed it back and time expired before Johnson could shoot.

All the while, Del Harris _ who took over when coach Avery Johnson was ejected in the first half _ was near midcourt screaming for a timeout.

``You could pretty much hear him through the monitor,'' said Johnson, who was watching on television.

When Harris complained to official Dan Crawford, he apologized and gestured that he couldn't hear Harris over the crowd.

Bulls 110, Bucks 85

Ben Gordon scored 37 points and set a career high with nine assists to lead host Chicago. He was 15-of-25 from the field and was two points shy of his career high when he headed to the bench with 3:29 left and the Bulls ahead by 22 points.

Andres Nocioni and Luol Deng each scored 17 points for the Bulls, who shot 54.1 percent (46-of-85) and had 24 fastbreak points to Milwaukee's eight.

Michael Redd led the Bucks with 30 points, while Charlie Villanueva scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.

Jazz 103, Pistons 101

Facing his former team, Mehmet Okur had 23 points and 10 rebounds and blocked Richard Hamilton's layup with one second left to lead unbeaten Utah (4-0). Okur scored eight points in the final quarter. Carlos Boozer had 20 points and 11 rebounds, his fourth double-double of the season.

Rasheed Wallace finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds to lead visiting Detroit.

Spurs 105, Knicks 93

Tony Parker scored 24 points, including five down the stretch to halt New York's frantic comeback attempt. Reserve Brent Barry added 19 points for visiting San Antonio, which blew almost all of a 23-point lead.

Stephon Marbury scored 18 points for the Knicks, who dropped their third straight following a season-opening victory at Memphis.

Kings 93, Timberwolves 81

Ron Artest had 22 points and eight rebounds, and Kevin Martin added 19 points for Sacramento in the NBA's final home opener. John Salmons and Shareef Abdur-Rahim each had 13 points for the Kings, who never trailed in new coach Eric Musselman's first game at Arco Arena after opening the season with a tough three-game road trip in which they went 1-2.

Mike James scored 23 points for the Timberwolves.

Clippers 102, Trail Blazers 89

Corey Maggette had 20 points and nine rebounds for Los Angeles, which won its third straight, all at home.

Zach Randolph had 35 points and 13 rebounds for Portland, which lost its fifth straight against the Clippers.

Magic 106, Wizards 103

Reserve guard Carlos Arroyo scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, and fellow backup guard added 15 points for host Orlando, which had lost two in a row.

Antawn Jamison had 29 points and Gilbert Arenas added 24 to lead Washington, which didn't have a field goal over the final 4:08.