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Davis, Warriors hold off Mavericks in Nelson's return

Nov 7, 2006 - 4:15 AM DALLAS (Ticker) -- Baron Davis made Don Nelson's return to Dallas an unforgettable one.

Davis scored 26 points and Jason Richardson added 22 as the Golden State Warriors sent the Dallas Mavericks to their season-opening third straight loss, 107-104.

Troy Murphy collected 20 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Warriors, who shot 49 percent (36-of-73) and won at Dallas for the fourth straight time - the first team in five years to accomplish that feat.

"I just think it's the matchup, it's the expectation, a sense of urgency every time we come here," Davis said. "There's a sense of urgency that we need a win. Guys really step up to the challenge. It's that confidence and that focus.

"I think the crowd has a lot to do with it. You know you're playing against one of the elite teams. We usually play real well against the better teams in the league."

Nelson, who guided the Mavericks for six full seasons and parts of two others, coached his first game against his former squad. The second-winningest coach in NBA history, Nelson resigned as Dallas coach 64 games into the 2004-05 campaign.

"It's a special moment for me and then to get a win just puts the cream right on top of the coffee, Nelson said.

After his resignation, Nelson remained with the Mavericks as a consultant; his son Donnie is the team's general manger. On Monday, Dallas raised its Western Conference championship banner to the rafters, which was emotional for the veteran coach.

"At 66 (years old), you don't find a lot of emotion in anything except love and death," Nelson said. "It was a very special moment for me to come back and watch the banner go up. I'm just so proud of the Mavericks and what they've accomplished."

Davis shot 9-of-22 from the field and collected eight assists and seven rebounds.

Trailing, 107-97, with 2:15 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Mavericks went on a 7-0 run and had a chance to tie the game on their final possession. Jerry Stackhouse missed a 3-pointer with five seconds remaining, and after an offensive rebound, Devin Harris passed up a shot from the arc as time expired.

Dallas assistant Del Harris was looking to call a timeout to set up a play on the final possession but no one saw him motioning from the sideline. Harris was running the team after coach Avery Johnson picked up his second technical with 3:54 remaining in the third quarter.

"He looked like he was yelling (for a timeout)," Johnson said. "You could pretty much hear him through the monitor. But obviously, he just was not heard."

Dirk Nowitzki had 26 points, 11 rebounds and six assists for the Mavericks, which started 0-3 for the first time since 1993.

"We were just trying to get a win, that's all that matters," Johnson said. "Nellie (Nelson) obviously was on the other side coaching and they deserve to win. They played hard and they finished the game very well."

Dallas point guard Jason Terry was ejected after committing a flagrant foul on Monta Ellis on a drive to the basket with 3:05 left in the game.

"I was swinging for the ball, but the way they were calling things tonight, I mean, Avery gets thrown out and other different scenarios out there on the floor," Terry said. "That was just the way the game was being called - real tight. It is what it is. We lost and that's the bottom line."

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