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Sat, Feb 21, 2009 - 10:30 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Warriors give Nelson career win No. 1,300

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)

Don Nelson herded his assistant coaches out of their offices and onto the court, posing everybody for a postgame photograph to commemorate his 1,300th career victory. The Golden State Warriors got their coach to that milestone Saturday night in memorable fashion as well. Their 133-120 win over Oklahoma City was pure, vintage Nellieball. Golden State played indifferent defense and made 17 turnovers, yet produced more than enough relentless offense to counterbalance the mistakes. Nelson lost his temper and nearly got kicked out in the first quarter, but calmed down enough to watch a superb fourth-quarter surge in the Warriors' fifth win in seven games overall. Only Lenny Wilkens, who won 1,332 games, has coached more NBA victories than the 68-year-old Nelson. His photo finish aside, Nelson claimed the win didn't put him in a reflective mood — just an appreciative one. "I'm in good company with Lenny," Nelson said. "It's just good to finally get it over with." Stephen Jackson scored 26 points and Corey Maggette added 25 as the Warriors posted their fourth 120-point game of the month, reeling off an impressive late run that finished off Kevin Durant and his teammates. "I wanted to get it in our last game on national TV against the Lakers, but it was good we could get it tonight," Jackson said. "That's big — second-most all-time. Hopefully we can knock (Wilkens' lead) down some this year, and then get it for him early next year." Nelson probably will pass Wilkens early next season if he returns — which is more than likely, since the 68-year-old coach signed a lucrative contract extension through 2011 in late October. "I think he's won twice as many games as I've even appeared in," said Jamal Crawford, a ninth-year veteran. "That's absurd. That's a heck of an accomplishment." And it wouldn't be a Nelson milestone without a hint of upheaval in his club: Nelson told his players that the Warriors' youngsters will be getting more playing time for the rest of the season. Jackson and Crawford both claimed they're cool with the club's new focus. "Those young guys deserve to play," said Jackson, who played 38 minutes instead of his regular 40-plus. "I'm cool with Coach cutting down my minutes some, because they've earned it. They deserve it." Durant scored 32 points for the Thunder, who have lost five straight. Russell Westbrook added 31 points and 11 assists, but Oklahoma City dropped to 3-24 on the road. Jeff Green had 27 points and 15 rebounds for Oklahoma City, but the second-year forward combined with Durant for 12 of the Thunder's 23 turnovers. Oklahoma City has lost seven straight road games since winning 122-121 at Oakland on Jan. 21 on Green's buzzer-beating jumper. Neither team pulled away until late in a back-and-forth game played at the Warriors' favored tempo. Golden State scored 21 points in the final six minutes, including an 11-2 run capped by Kelenna Azubuike's 3-pointer with 3:18 left to put the Warriors up 125-114. "We got sucked into playing their style," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. "We are not a running team, and they are. We can score, but that's not the way we're going to win games. Part of our development is being smarter and knowing how we play, and sticking to it." The Thunder trailed by just eight when they took off on a fast break with about 90 seconds left, but Durant and Westbrook failed to hook up on a difficult alley-oop lob, illustrating everything that's both fascinating and infuriating about their exciting starting lineup featuring two rookies and two second-year pros. "That lob was the first one I missed all year," Westbrook said. "Unfortunately it was at the wrong time, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try it again. ... I think we could play like the Warriors if we could get some stops and play better defense than we played tonight." Azubuike scored nine of his 11 points in the final 4:52 after sitting out much of the first three quarters. Ronny Turiaf and Monta Ellis added 14 points apiece for the Warriors, who finished a solid five-game homestand spanning the All-Star break with four wins and a narrow loss to the NBA-leading Lakers. Thabo Sefolosha went scoreless and committed five fouls in 18 minutes during his first game for Oklahoma City since the club acquired him from the Chicago Bulls at the trade deadline. Malik Rose, acquired by the Thunder from New York earlier Thursday, suited up for the first time but didn't play.

Notes

Azubuike grew up in Tulsa. ... Nenad Krstic started his third game at center for the Thunder, but played less than 14 minutes. ... Oklahoma City outrebounded Golden State 44-27.
Tagged: Thunder, Warriors

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