NBA Roundup: Nash dishes out win
The NBA roundup …
TORONTO ó Still seething from an overtime defeat in Denver and a narrow home loss to Minnesota, Phoenix Suns forward Amare Stoudemire pegged Sunday’s game in Toronto as a must-win. And with the Raptors charging in the fourth quarter, Stoudemire took over.
Stoudemire scored 31 points, Steve Nash had a season-high 18 assists and the Suns beat Toronto 117-113 on Sunday afternoon, their ninth consecutive victory over the struggling Raptors.
Jason Richardson added 17 points, Shaquille O’Neal and Matt Barnes each had 16 and Leandro Barbosa scored 14 for Phoenix.
Stoudemire scored 11 points in the fourth as the Suns won the opener of a six-game road trip.
Nash sealed it for Phoenix on a driving layup with 12.9 seconds to play, and drew rave reviews for his distribution.
“That’s something Steve has been doing ever since we’ve been together,” Stoudemire said. “Nash and Stat is a heck of a 1-2 punch. The way Steve was playing, he played phenomenal.”
Nash, who made just two turnovers, didn’t mind taking only six shots in more than 36 minutes.
“I try to draw two defenders and find an open teammate and tonight Amare was doing a great job of finishing,” Nash said.
The Suns topped 100 points for the 17th time in 18 games, but first-year coach Porter isn’t interested in a return to Phoenix’s up-tempo style of seasons past.
“Not to my liking,” Porter said.
Anthony Parker led Toronto with 26, Joey Graham scored a career-high 22 and Chris Bosh had 20 points and 12 rebounds as Toronto lost its fifth straight.
Heat 104, Thunder 94
OKLAHOMA CITY ó Dwyane Wade had 32 points and 10 assists to help the Miami Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-94 Sunday night to end an extended road trip on a positive note.