Postgame Central: Suns @ Rockets - Nov. 22, 2010
Game Stats, Charts
7Seven Suns players scored in double figures, led by Jason Richardson's 26.
Quote of the Game
“I've been working real hard to come back. I had it in my mind to play and I was ready.”
Fan Quote of the Game
"Congrats on the victory guys, great game, Nice to have Nash back!"
Nash Returns, Suns Finish Trip With WinPosted: Nov 22, 2010
By Chris Duncan, AP Sports Writer
HOUSTON (AP) Steve Nash had 24 points and nine assists to help the Phoenix Suns snap a three-game losing streak with a 123-116 win over the Houston Rockets on Monday night.
Nash played 37 minutes, showing no lingering effects from the groin injury that sidelined him for the Suns' previous two games.
Jason Richardson scored 26 points and Grant Hill added 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Suns, who've won 10 of the last 13 meetings with the Rockets.
Kevin Martin scored 19 to lead the Rockets, who've lost four in a row. Houston played its sixth straight game without Yao Ming, who's out with a bone bruise in his left ankle.
Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry said before the game that Nash would decide if he could play. An hour before tipoff, Nash was practicing jumpers from the free-throw line and beyond the 3-point arc. He gave some Suns' assistant coaches a thumbs-up before running off the court to the locker room.
With Nash playing, the Suns hit 13 of their first 19 shots to take the early lead. The Rockets missed their first eight 3-point attempts, but kept it close in the first quarter by outrebounding Phoenix 16-9.
Nash and Hill scored eight points apiece in the opening period and the Suns led 26-25. Both coaches went to their benches for the start of the second quarter, and the Suns led 41-39 when Nash and Hill returned with 5:17 left before halftime.
The Suns went on a 9-0 spurt over the next two minutes, and Richardson's 3-pointer from the wing stretched the lead to 11. Phoenix shot 56 percent from the field in the second quarter (13 of 23) to lead 59-45 at the break. Houston went 0-for-12 from 3-point range in the first half.
Houston hit 4 of its first 5 shots in the third quarter and cut the deficit to eight. Nash flipped in an off-balance layup to make it 64-54.
Later in the quarter, Shane Battier sank a 3 from the corner and Luis Scola hit two mid-range shots to pull the Rockets closer. Kyle Lowry converted a three-point play then turned his fifth steal into a breakaway layup to cut the Suns' lead to 74-72.
The Rockets missed their next four shots and gave away four turnovers over the next four minutes, and the Suns regained control with a 14-2 run. Hill just beat the quarter buzzer with a 3-pointer to give the Suns a 90-76 lead heading to the fourth.
Houston's reserves trimmed the deficit to seven early in the fourth quarter. The Suns' starters returned with 8:54 left, but Brad Miller converted a three-point play three minutes later to make it 100-96.
Martin sank his second 3-pointer with 3:02 left, but Hedo Turkoglu hit one on the Suns' next possession for a 109-103 lead. Houston's Jordan Hill was called for an offensive foul with 1:52 remaining, and Nash scored at the other end, prompting fans to file for the exits.
Notes: Nash became the 16th active player to reach 15,000 career points. He now has 15,007. ... The Suns have scored at least 110 points in their last seven games against Houston. ... Rockets guard Aaron Brooks sat out for the eighth straight game with a sprained left ankle. ... Jordan Hill grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds.
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