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Don Nelson going for history, Thornton to return in Orlando

Warriors (23-53) at Wizards (23-53)

Wizards starters: Shaun Livingston, Mike Miller, Nick Young, Andray Blatche, Fabricio Oberto

Warriors: Stephen Curry, Corey Maggette, Reggie Williams, Anthony Tolliver, Chris Hunter

Line: Warriors by 3

Don Nelson has 1,332 wins and needs one more to break Lenny Wilkens's all-time coaching wins record. But he was especially low-key moments before the Golden State Warriors tipped off against the Wizards on Tuesday. Nelson said that he was fulfilled after tying the record on Sunday in Toronto.

"If it happens, we'll talk about it after the game, but you know it was such an emotional win to tie Lenny in Toronto," Nelson said. "That was a special moment for me. I don't think we can duplicate that."

Nelson spoke with Wilkens on Monday and said he has long admired him. "He's like the perfect coach," Nelson said. "He's been very successful, humble, all the other things that you would like a guy to be. That's why I tried to emulate him, at least late in my career. I wish I had done it earlier. When I was younger, I was a pretty tough coach, pretty emotional. I tried to be less that and more Lenny Wilkens."

Coach Flip Saunders praised Nelson before the game, having faced him dozens of times over his career. "Everyone has so much respect for him because of the knowledge that he has," Saunders said. "Nellie is extremely innovative, adaptive to situations. Doesn't usually get too down when things aren't going well, even though you can look at his face and see something is wearing on him. But he doesn't get too excited when things are going well. He's a teacher of the game, that's why he's been able to develop so many players."

Saunders said what he respects most about Nelson is ability to keep moving forward. "When the game is over, he can let it go. Maybe because he's coached so many games," he said.

Wilkens became the NBA's all-time leader in coaching victories since Jan. 6, 1995, when his Atlanta Hawks beat the Washington Bullets 112-90 for his 939th career victory. Now, Nelson is looking to surpass Wilkens against the Wizards.

Saunders does not want to be a part of history tonight. "I don't want him to get the record against me," he said with a laugh.

Al Thornton missed his seventh consecutive game with a strained right hip flexor, but said that he won't be out much longer. Thornton said that after going through a tough workout on Tuesday morning that he will be ready to go against Orlando. "I think I'm coming along pretty well," he said. "I'm definitely going to try to give it a go tomorrow in Orlando. Push through it and see how it feels."

Thornton said he wanted to be especially cautious with his injury. "You got to make sure you're loose, going into your warm-ups," Thornton said. "I want to be out there playing, but it's extremely difficult, because you've got to get in a stance, and the way I play, I can easily tear it. I want to make sure I'm 100 percent healed before I go out there at all. That's the reason for the delay."

Asked why he hasn't decided to just rest for the remainder of the season, Thornton said, "I want to play. I love playing basketball and I love being out there with my teammates. I know it's no chance at the playoffs, but I want to finish on a strong note."

By Michael Lee  |  April 6, 2010; 6:43 PM ET
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Next: Nick Young on season-high 29 points and win over Warriors


Golden State plays like Eddie Jordan's old Wizards. They play no defense and get shots up as soon as they cross midcourt.

Posted by: bozomoeman | April 6, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

If JaVale McGee ever learns to play basketball, he's going to be lethal!

Posted by: bozomoeman | April 6, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

If this is Nick's last start I have to say good job.

Mike Miller vs. Vince Cater tomorrow. These guys do more grimacing and shoulder holding than soccer players.

Man the F up!

Posted by: elfreako | April 6, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Golden State plays like Eddie Jordan's old Wizards. They play no defense and get shots up as soon as they cross midcourt.

Posted by: bozomoeman | April 6, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Nellie-ball ain't workin'. Why is this guy still in the league?

Posted by: glawrence007 | April 6, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

We moved one game out of a tie for the third slot in the lottery however.We should lose the next three however.

Posted by: glawrence007 | April 6, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

this is for you, rphil:

Javale went for 25/15 tonight! You know how many times BTH has done that in his 9yr career?


future is bright my friends, future is bright

Posted by: divi3 | April 6, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

and btw, 25pts is BTHs career high

Posted by: divi3 | April 6, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

2 words....

fifth pick

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 6, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

2010 Mock Draft

1st Wall
2nd Evans
3rd Cousins
4th Favors
5th ?

Posted by: bulletsfan78 | April 6, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

come on...lottery rarely goes by rote and we have bad luck anyway. We beat the piss out of another team, so be it, let's not pretend that finalizes our lotto fate

Posted by: divi3 | April 6, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

BF78, I know you got your Wizards voodoo dolls all lined up, sticking pins in em', praying to the chicken Gods for the Wiz to fail. It's not going to work, I got the antidote and am getting it ready!

Posted by: zxhoya | April 6, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

McGee has a natural desire to score. Once the team starts to shaping up I wonder how the coaching is going to mesh that with a big man philosophy of just playing D, rebounding, and shutting the paint down as a primary focus.

Again, coaching will be of grave importantance for this team going forward.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | April 7, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Heeeeeere's Donny! Yes, big old Don Nelson is the greatest coach the NBA has ever known. I don't care if you don't agree with me, I know I am right. Just look at the stats. They speak for themselves. Yes, Don Nelson surpassed Lenny Wilkens on the career list with win No. 1,333 in the Golden State Warriors' 116-107 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. I think the best sports blogs covering this historic achievement were listed on the online index. Goold old Donny! I hope he keeps going on coaching and winning more NBA titles.

Posted by: harryadkison | April 10, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

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