Don Nelson was the coach who helped make the Dallas Mavericks the successful franchise it is.
He is also the coach who ruined their night to celebrate their most recent achievement -- reaching the NBA finals last season.
The Golden State Warriors, the team Nelson took over this summer for a second time at age 66, beat the Mavericks, the team he coached from 1998-2005, 107-104 on Monday night.
"I never expected this win," Nelson said. "I didn't think we'd be able to beat a good team at this point of the season, but I was wrong. I'm very proud of my squad. You take the win when you can get it."
Nelson and Mavs owner Mark Cuban are squabbling over US$6 million, which is likely why there was no formal recognition for the winningest coach in Mavs history. Still, he received a warm ovation from fans and took pride in the unveiling of a banner recognizing Dallas for being the 2005-2006 Western Conference champions.
"At 66, you don't find a lot of emotion except for love and death. But it was a special [night] for me," Nelson said.
"It was like a player being traded, coming back and wanted to do well against his old team," said Golden State's Jason Richardson, who scored 22 points. "He wanted this game and we wanted to play hard and get it for him."
Baron Davis scored 26 points and Troy Murphy added 20 for the Warriors.
In other games, it was: Chicago 110, Milwaukee 85; Utah 103, Detroit 101; San Antonio 105, New York 93; Sacramento 93, Minnesota 81; the Los Angeles Clippers 102, Portland 89; and Orlando 106, Washington 103.