<
>

Davis helps Nelson get first win in return to Warriors

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- The Golden State Warriors sure seem to
have bought into Nellie's way of playing basketball.

Mickael Pietrus trusts his coach that coming off the bench as
sixth man will best benefit the team, and Mike Dunleavy has
willingly shifted to point guard because that's where Don Nelson
believes he belongs.

Baron Davis had 17 points, nine assists, four rebounds and two
steals to help Nelson earn the first win of his second tenure as
Golden State's coach in the Warriors' 102-89 victory over the
Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.

"I said before, Coach has 1,000 wins and I might have 96,
maybe," Pietrus said. "We have respect for what he does for this
team."

Pietrus added 16 points, including a nice second-quarter dunk,
and matched his career high with 10 rebounds for his second career
double-double as the Warriors beat the Blazers for the seventh
straight time dating to a 97-88 loss on Jan. 24, 2005, in Portland.

These Warriors looked much more energized than they did in a
season-opening loss to the Los Angeles Lakers two nights earlier --
when Nelson said he was "disappointed" with his team's play.

Zach Randolph had 22 points and 11 rebounds for Portland, while
rookie Brandon Roy had 19 points, six rebounds, five assists and a
blocked shot in his second straight strong performance as a pro.

Monta Ellis added 15 points, Troy Murphy scored 12 and Ike Diogu
10 for the Warriors. Nelson shuffled his lineup slightly, starting
Adonal Foyle as a defensive presence against Randolph after Foyle
was inactive for the opener Wednesday against the Lakers.

"That's the way Don Nelson wants us to play and how we as a
team want to play," Ellis said.

The Warriors haven't advanced to the playoffs in 12 straight
years since Nelson last took them there in 1994. Foyle, who has
been told by Nelson he will have a limited role mostly defending
big men, had two points, two rebounds and an assist in five
minutes.

Dunleavy overcame a slow start to score 14 points but had only
one assist and committed three turnovers.

"We played a lot better tonight," Nelson said. "I'm satisfied
with the way we played. We hung in there together and stayed with
our game plan defensively. It wasn't easy for Randolph, and that
was our No. 1 guy we had to stop to win."

Murphy broke his nose in a preseason game last month in Portland
when he took a forearm to the face from Randolph, and these teams
have had their share of testy moments in recent years. But the
Warriors methodically handled the Blazers with a strong second
half.

Portland beat coach Nate McMillan's former team in its first
game with a 110-106 victory at Seattle on Wednesday night that
snapped the Blazers' 16-game road losing streak dating to last
season.

"We lost, we didn't play smart," McMillan said. "We didn't
play together. I thought we went off and played individual
basketball, which leads to this type of game, which leads to this
type of result. When you don't play together and you're not doing
the things that you talked about execution wise, then everybody's
on a different page and this is totally opposite of the performance
in Seattle."

The Warriors held a one-point lead at halftime before opening
the second half with an 18-3 run to lead by as many as 16. Davis
and Richardson combined for 10 of those points and Portland missed
its first seven shots and turned the ball over three times during
that stretch.

"We were right there ... then we let them go on that run," Roy
said. "That was too much to overcome."

Game notes
Murphy is trying to find the right mask to protect his nose
as it heals. The clear plastic one he wore Wednesday and again
Friday has been slipping around some on his face and also affects
his peripheral vision. He received several new versions to try
Friday but wants to wear them in practice first to see how they
work. And once his nose is healthy again later this month or in
early December, Murphy said he will "smash them, put them under my
car and run over them, or maybe a hook shot off the Bay Bridge on
my way home." ... Portland's Jamaal Magloire received a technical
foul with 1:33 left in the third after tangling up with Davis under
the Blazers' basket. ... Randolph has led all scorers and
rebounders in each of Portland's first two games.