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Wagner, Warriors defeat Efes Pilsen in Nelson's return to bench

Oct 13, 2006 - 5:52 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Dajuan Wagner's impressive return to the court ensured Don Nelson's return the sidelines would be just as successful.

Wagner scored 18 points in his first game in two years and Troy Murphy added 12 points and 14 rebounds as the Golden State Warriors dominated Turkish power Efes Pilsen, 120-66, in their preseason opener.

The second-winningest coach in NBA history, Nelson returns for a second stint on the Warriors' bench after taking over this summer for Mike Montgomery. Nelson previously directed the team from 1988-95, including a 50-32 season in 1994 that resulted in Golden State's last trip to the playoffs.

One of Nelson's star players during his first run with the Warriors was Chris Mullin, the team's current vice president of basketball operations. A three-time NBA Coach of the Year, Nelson will look to lead Mullin's group of talented youngsters back to the postseason.

A former lottery pick, Wagner had a strong rookie season with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2002-03. But his next two campaigns were ravaged by injuries and illness, landing him out of the league for two years.

Wagner, the leading scorer in New Jersey high school basketball history, showed signs of his prolific offensive talent again Thursday, making 8-of-14 shots in 33 effective minutes.

Murphy, who has shifted from power forward to center under Nelson, made 5-of-13 shots in 16 minutes.

Jason Richardson and Adonal Foyle did not play for Warriors.

Kerem Gonlum scored 21 points for Efes Pilsen.

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