Nelson: Team Won't Make Playoffs

Warriors melt down against Miami

Don Nelson believes his Warriors will be much better one day down the road. Golden State's veteran coach made it clear he doesn't expect to reach the playoffs just before watching his team have a major meltdown against Miami.

Chris Quinn hit a tying 3-pointer with 7.1 seconds left in overtime, Michael Beasley stole the ensuing inbounds pass and made the decisive free throw, and the Heat pulled off a wild 130-129 comeback win over the Warriors on Monday night.

"Well it was a whale of a game, wasn't it?" Nelson said. "We sure gave it away at the end. Couple of breakdowns just at the wrong time. I thought we had the game won. ... It will be a hard loss to get over."

In Monday's only other NBA games, Charlotte defeated Minnesota 100-90, and Boston beat Orlando 107-88.

Jamal Crawford missed a running jumper at the buzzer and sprawled himself on the court in frustration as the Warriors dropped their seventh straight game. Crawford is winless since joining Golden State in a trade from New York on Nov. 21 that sent Al Harrington to the Knicks.

Crawford scored six of his 40 points in overtime and dished out seven assists.

Udonis Haslem scored on a putback for Miami at the buzzer to force the extra session.

With his team up 125-123 with 28.8 seconds left in OT, Golden State's Ronny Turiaf swatted Dwyane Wade for his fifth block of the game. Wade converted a three-point play with 15.1 seconds to go that cut it to 127-126 before Crawford hit two free throws on the other end.

Wade finished with 37 points and 13 assists, and Haslem and Shawn Marion each had 21 points.

Beasley, who jumped in front of Andris Biedrins' inbounds pass at the end, added 19 points and six rebounds.

"It's good for us to step up and help Dwyane pull out a game at the end," Quinn said. "Dwyane puts us on his back enough and obviously he did some of that tonight, but for some of us to help him step up and knock down some shots and make some big plays helps."
The Heat are 2-2 on a five-game West Coast swing that ends Wednesday at Utah. Miami lost 97-96 to the Clippers in Los Angeles on Saturday.

"It was very significant," Wade said of the win. "This is a tough game to come back and play after losing the other night and taking so much energy out of you to come back and play against a team that keeps going and keeps going. But our team grew up in this game. I think a lot our young guys did a really good job."

Crawford shot 11-for-22 and made 14 of 16 free throws en route to his seventh career game with 40 or more points.

But the Warriors got sloppy with the ball on offense late in the game and allowed Miami some key second-chance points that kept the Heat close.

Corey Maggette had 29 points, Biedrins had 17 points and 15 boards and Brandan Wright scored 16 points for the Warriors, who went 0-5 on a recent road trip -- their first 0-5 trip since the 2003-04 season.

Nelson said beforehand he already knows he doesn't have a playoff team this season -- a somewhat bold statement at this early stage.

"I like the team for the future. I've got a lot of guys that aren't ready yet," Nelson said, noting he's focused on getting his team to play hard every night and win as much as possible during this rebuilding process. "We have some deficiencies as a team. One of them is passing. We're not a good passing team. Our trade helps that, gives us another passer. We're not strong defenders."

Warriors leading scorer Stephen Jackson returned after missing Saturday's loss to the Knicks. Jackson, who aggravated his sprained left wrist in a loss Friday at Cleveland, had just eight points on 2-for-11 shooting but added 11 assists.

"Ain't no different than the other ones. We gotta find a way to get a win," Jackson said.  Bobcats 100, Timberwolves 90

At Charlotte, N.C., Jason Richardson scored 25 points in another strong performance after being sidelined with knee trouble, leading the suddenly efficient Bobcats to a 100-90 win.

After starting 3-9, the Bobcats have won three of their last five games, with a close loss to defending champion Boston during that stretch. In his record ninth NBA head coaching job, Larry Brown appears to be making progress with a team that won only 32 games under Sam Vincent last season.

Emeka Okafor, often invisible in the paint this season, added a season-high 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting.

Randy Foye scored 23 points and Mike Miller added 19 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota, which lost its second straight. Top scorer Al Jefferson was held to eight points on 3-of-11 shooting and Minnesota committed 14 of its 18 turnovers in the first half.  Celtics 107, Magic 88.

At Boston, Paul Pierce scored 17 of his 24 points in the third quarter to lead the defending champion Celtics to their ninth straight win.

Ray Allen added 21 points, Rajon Rondo had 16 points with 12 assists and Kevin Garnett scored 15 points for the Celtics (17-2).

Rashard Lewis paced Orlando with 30 points, Hedo Turkoglu scored 19 and Dwight Howard, the league's rebounding leader, had 14 points with 15 boards.

The Magic's four-game overall winning streak ended, as did a six-game road win streak which was one short of a club record.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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