Warriors hope to honor Nelson with win over Hawks

The Golden State Warriors honor one of their own on Wednesday night, but will have to contend with the visiting Atlanta Hawks amid the celebration.

Don Nelson, who coached the Warriors from 1988-96 and 2006-10, entered the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame this past September. He owns the NBA record for coaching victories with 1,335 and the win that inched him past Lenny Wilkens into first, came on the Warriors bench in April of 2010.

Nelson tributes are scheduled throughout the evening and at halftime, performance painter David Garibaldi will create a portrait on Nelson.

Maybe Nellie's presence will provide the Golden State with some spark. They've lost the last two games, including a 107-101 double-overtime heartbreaker to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday.

In that contest, the Warriors had several opportunities to ice the victory, but missed free throws and costly turnovers and poor defense gave the Warriors back-to-back losses for the first time all season.

"This is the worst I felt after a game," said head coach Mark Jackson. "Last year we were not good enough talent wise to win a lot of ball games, We're good enough right now and we got outworked."

The Hawks come in already having stopped the bleeding some. They lost two in a row, but got back in the winner's column on Monday when they knocked off the Portland Trail Blazers, 95-87.

Portland took the lead in the fourth quarter, but Al Horford helped put the game away. It was a similar situation to Sunday night when the Hawks held the lead in the final frame against the Los Angeles Clippers.

On Sunday, the Clippers rattled off a 20-3 run that put the visitors away. On Monday, things went the Hawks way.

"We fell into a similar situation last night," Hawks coach Larry Drew said after Monday's win. "Tonight, we weathered the storm. We knew they'd make a run, as I told our guys at halftime. It was just going to be a matter of whether we accept that challenge at that point, or whether we fold the tent like we did last night.

"Tonight, we accepted the challenge. It's a really gutsy performance."

This is game three of a four-game trip on the West Coast for the Hawks.

Atlanta ranks third in the league in forcing turnovers, but in almost every other statistical category, the Hawks are middle of the pack.

The two teams have split their last six meetings, but Atlanta has won three of their last five in Golden State.