PHOENIX, May 18 (Ticker) -- Steve Nash was a scorer, passer and rebounder, which made the Phoenix Suns a winner.

Nash notched his first career playoff triple-double with 34 points, 12 assists and 13 rebounds, leading the Suns to a 114-108 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in the pivotal fifth game of their Western Conference semifinal series.

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The top-seeded Suns also received huge contributions from Amare Stoudemire and Jim Jackson as they moved within one win of their first trip to the conference finals in 12 years.

In Game 4, Nash had a career-high 48 points as the Mavericks turned the pass-happy point guard into a scorer by overplaying Stoudemire in the pick-and-roll. Nash was limited to five assists and committed nine turnovers as Phoenix lost.

Back on his home floor, Nash continued to look for his offense as he made 13-of-26 shots, most of them mid-range jumpers in pick-and-roll situations. But the NBA MVP also was able to find the seams in the defense, which allowed him to get Stoudemire back in the flow.

"I always love to see my teammates have fun, get their energy up," Nash said. "But at the same time, being one of the best shootetrs on the team, I have to shoot when I'm open. I just have to find that balance and shoot when I'm open and find my teammates when they are."

"Nash played like an MVP tonight," Mavericks coach
Avery Johnson said. "We had no answers for him. We tried every single thing humanly possible."

Limited to 15 points in Game 4, Stoudemire was more assertive and collected 33 points and 18 rebounds. The All-Star center made 10-of-17 shots - virtually all of them layups and dunks - and 13-of-15 free throws.

"Amare was a little more assertive on the pick-and-rolls," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "I guess they got tired of Steve scoring every point and they make a move towards him and that is when he gets it to Amare. It is Steve reading the situation and Amare being aggressive."

Nash's rebounding also helped the Suns rediscover their running game, which led to plenty of easy baskets. Phoenix had 16 fast-break points and 66 points in the paint.

"That number should be for three games," Johnson said.

"Sixty-six points in the paint is huge," Stoudemire said. "I wanted to crash the boards and get a lot of fast-break points. They went small on us and we took advantage of our height."

When Nash took a seat at the start of the fourth quarter, Jackson moved into the unfamiliar role of point guard. The 6-6 swingman scored eight points in the first four minutes of the period, helping Phoenix build an 87-79 lead.

"I am a playmaker. I played point guard in high school, college, and in the NBA I am used to handling that ball a lot so there are a lot of things I can do," Jackson said. "It is just a matter of timing and when and if you can do it."

Jackson scored 15 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter for the Suns, who can wrap up the series with a win Friday in Dallas. Phoenix was the best road team in the NBA this season and is 3-1 on the road in the postseason.

Dirk Nowitzki had 34 points and 10 rebounds and Jerry Stackhouse scored 29 points off the bench for fourth-seeded Dallas, which saw its defense dissolve in the second half, allowing 66 points.

"We did not follow the game plan and they just shredded us tonight - shredded us to pieces," Johnson said. "I am so disappointed right now."

The Mavericks were able to keep Stoudemire under control for most of the first half and opened a 55-48 lead. But in the third quarter, Nowitzki and Josh Howard left briefly with injuries and Nash scored 15 points as the Suns briefly took the lead before settling for a 77-76 deficit entering the final period.

Jackson, who has been starting for the injured Joe Johnson, took over at the point and scored four quick hoops around a three-point play by Stoudemire to give Phoenix the lead for good.

"Jim Jackson has been hurting us the whole series," Avery Johnson said. "He did it with Houston last year, Sacramento the year before."

Dallas closed to 87-83 with 7:31 left on a basket by Jason Terry, who had 17 points and eight assists. However, Stoudemire scored inside, Nash converted a three-point play and Jackson added a fast-break layup for a 94-83 bulge with 6:19 to go.

The Mavericks were unable to get a stop that mattered and got no closer than five points thereafter. Stoudemire scored 10 points in the final six minutes.