LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rookie forward Reggie Williams scored 25 points in his second NBA start and the Golden State Warriors beat the Los Angeles Clippers 121-103 on Sunday night, putting Don Nelson within three victories of overtaking Lenny Wilkens as the winningest coach in NBA history during the regular season.
The Warriors have nine chances left on the schedule to keep Nelson from having to wait an entire summer before breaking Wilkens' record of 1,332 victories. Four of the games are against New York, Washington, Minnesota and the Clippers, who are a combined 115 games under .500.
Rasual Butler scored 21 points and Eric Gordon added 20 for the Clippers, who have lost 11 of their last 13 games. They have to go 6-3 the rest of the way to avoid — or at least postpone — their 18th 50-loss season in Los Angeles. Baron Davis had 18 points and seven assists against his former team.
Williams, one of five players Golden State brought in from the NBA's Development League this season, got the start because leading scorer Monta Ellis continued to have the flulike symptoms which have hampered him all week. Williams played 42 minutes, getting seven assists and six rebounds in his 15th game with the club.
Rookie Stephen Curry had 18 points and seven assists during a foul-plagued 40 minutes. Second-year forward Anthony Tolliver added 19 points and six rebounds, one night after grabbing a career-high 21 boards in a 111-90 home loss against Dallas. Corey Maggette, the Clippers' leading scorer two seasons ago, had 17 points.
The Warriors, who came in averaging a league-best 17.7 forced turnovers and 21.4 points off turnovers, converted 20 Clippers turnovers into 26 points.
Craig Smith, who scored a season-high 25 points off the bench for the Clippers in Thursday's 99-93 win at Houston, played less than 5 minutes over the first three quarters against the Warriors and scored his first points on a pair of free throws with 10:49 remaining to trim Golden State's lead to 97-88. But they got no closer.
Curry, who scored a career-high 36 points against the Clippers and posted his first career triple-double in a 132-102 rout on Feb. 10 at Oakland, helped stake Golden State to a 69-50 halftime lead in the rematch with 16 points.
Golden State outscored Los Angeles 25-4 during a 6-minute span of the second quarter to turn a nine-point deficit into a 54-42 lead with 4:56 left in the half. Curry's short jumper gave the Warriors their first lead, 42-40, with 7:41 left in the second. Curry helped fuel the rally with a pair of 3-pointers, and reserve Chris Hunter added a couple of tip-in baskets after missed shots.
NOTES: Wilkens had 80 wins in the playoffs, five more than Nelson. ... The Clippers are 3-11 this month with two games remaining. This is the 60th time they have had 10 or more losses in a month since the franchise moved from San Diego to Los Angeles for the 1984-85 season — and the 17th time they've reached double digits in March. ... Davis averaged 20.1 points and 8.1 assists during his three-plus seasons with the Warriors. In 136 games with the Clippers, he's averaging 15.1 points and 7.8 assists. ... Maggette came in as one of only five players in the league averaging at least 20 points while shooting 50 percent or better from the field. The others are LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire and David Lee. ... The Clippers have at least one win against Golden State in 23 consecutive seasons — their longest such streak against any club.