Warriors' coach Nelson gets 1,333rd NBA victory
MINNEAPOLIS — 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.
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 last night gave Nelson win No. 1,333 for his career.
"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," the 69-year-old Nelson said. "This is probably why we end up coaching, for moments like this."
In 31 seasons on the bench, 11 with the Warriors, 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.
"For us to get the record is a big accomplishment for us," said Stephen Curry, who had 27 points, 14 assists, eight rebounds and a career-high seven steals for the Warriors. "We call it our championship game."
BOBCATS 104, HORNETS 103
Stephen Jackson scored 29 points as visiting Charlotte clinched its first playoff berth since its founding six years ago.
Raptors' Bosh recovering: Toronto All-Star forward Chris Bosh is expected to need "weeks" to recover after surgery yesterday to repair a facial fracture suffered when he was struck by Antawn Jamison's elbow in Tuesday night's 113-101 loss to Cleveland.