Nash Dishes Out 20 Assists In Suns Rout Of Warriors

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

PHOENIX (AP) - Steve Nash scored 18 points and had the sixth 20-assist game of his career Friday night in Phoenix's 123-101 rout of the Golden State Warriors in the Suns' home opener.

All five Phoenix starters scored in double figures, led by Leandro Barbosa's 24 points. Channing Frye, the former University of Arizona star making his home debut for the Suns, added 22, including making 6 of 7 3-pointers, four in the fourth quarter.

Amare Stoudemire added 20 points and Grant Hill had 18 for Phoenix.

Monta Ellis led the Warriors with 19 points, while Kelenna Azubuike added 17.

Nash's 20 assists were two shy of his career high, set in a triple-overtime game against New York on Jan. 2, 2006.

The 35-year-old point guard, who hit the game-winning basket in Phoenix's season-opener at the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night, narrowly missed his first 20-point, 20-assist game in regulation. He had one in that three-overtime game against the Knicks.

Nash had 21 assists - his fifth game with 20 assists - at Detroit last Feb. 8.

Barbosa, starting in place of the suspended Jason Richardson, scored 12 points in the second quarter when Phoenix took control. Stoudemire had 10 points in the third as the Suns pulled away.

Phoenix shot 54 percent, including making 12 of 22 3s, compared with 46 percent shooting for Golden State.

Up 62-51 at halftime, Phoenix scored the first five points of the third quarter -on Barbosa's three-point play and Stoudemire's fastbreak dunk - to take a 16-point lead.

The Warriors got it back to 81-70 on Corey Maggette's two free throws with 3:19 left in the third. The Suns, though, scored the next 11 points to blow open a 92-70 lead. Goran Dragic hit a 3-pointer, then fed Louis Amundson for an inside basket that capped the run.

Frye, buried on the bench in Portland last season, made his first six 3s, including four in a row in the fourth quarter to help Nash reach the 20-assist mark. Coach Alvin Gentry kept Nash in the game until there was 2:53 to play.

NOTES: Richardson was suspended by the NBA for the first two games of the season because of his drunken driving conviction stemming from an arrest last December. ... Representatives of the WNBA champion Phoenix Mercury drew a standing ovation when introduced during a break in the first quarter. ... Azubuike had nine points and four fouls in 11 minutes in the second quarter.


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