DALLAS, Nov. 16 (Ticker) --
If the Dallas Mavericks forgot how good
was, the point guard of the Phoenix Suns didn't waste
any time reminding them.
Nash had 17 points and 18 assists in a triumphant return and
scored 15 of his season-high 34 points in the
fourth quarter as the Suns posted a 107-101 victory over the
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Making his first appearance at American Airlines Arena since
signing as a free agent with Phoenix in the offseason, Nash
received a huge ovation from the crowd he had thrilled since
1999. He responded by breaking their hearts, posting an assist
total one shy of his career high.
"It was unbelievable," Nash said of his reception. "All the
people wearing my jersey and holding signs. I really
appreciated the support."
In the first half, the Canadian point guard had five points and
11 assists as the Suns opened a 54-43 lead.
"In time, we're going to be tough," Nash said. "I'm still
trying to get used to them, their still trying to get used to
me. We've got a good group."
Stoudemire, who turned 22 on Tuesday, scored 15 points in the
first half but was limited to just four in the third quarter,
when Dallas - which lost both Erick Dampier
and Jason Terry
injuries in the first half - battled back.
Dampier went out of the game for good with a strained left hip
flexor with 1:53 left in the first quarter and Terry severely
sprained his right ankle when he came down on Nash's foot early
in the second period. Although X-rays were negative, Terry was
unable to put weight on his ankle and had to be helped off the
"It's a little sore right now," Dampier said. "I'm going to
rehab my hip tomorrow, take a little time off and see how it
does on Friday (against New York)."
The Mavericks used a 21-6 run fueled by some unlikely offense
from Shawn Bradley
, who scored six points in the burst. A
three-point play by Jerry Stackhouse
capped the run at 70-70
with 2:17 remaining.
"Of course it hurt us to have Jason and Eric out in the second
half," said Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki
, who had 20 points and
16 rebounds. "Shawn stepped in and played really well. He did a
really nice job in the zone."
Bradley, who scored eight points, gave the Mavericks an 88-83
lead with a pair of free throws with 8:47 remaining before the
Suns rode Stoudemire to victory. He scored 15 points in the
final nine minutes, including a layup that snapped a 93-93 tie
and gave Phoenix the lead for good with 4:12 remaining.
"Everybody contributed," Stoudemire said. "We were out there
being active from the start to the finish. We did the things we
needed to do to win the game."
and Quentin Richardson
each had 18 points and
Stoudemire swept 11 boards as four Suns posted
double-doubles. Phoenix held a 54-44 advantage on the glass.
"This was a good win for us," Marion said. "We wanted this one
for Steve, this being his former team. At the same time, we had
great effort by everybody. This was a team win."
Nowtizki was limited to 15 minutes in the second half after
picking up his fifth foul in the third quarter.
"They're pretty good," Nowitzki said. "They're still very
young. They run the floor like I've never seen a team run.
They're fun to watch."
With Terry injured, rookie Devin Harris
scored 13 of his 15
points in the second half. Stackhouse continue his strong play
off the bench with 21 points.