|Page (1) of 1 - 04/26/12||email article||print page|
Spurs beat Phoenix 110-106 in what could be Nash's last game as a Sun
PHOENIX (AP) ' Patty Mills scored 27 points and the depleted San Antonio Spurs beat Phoenix 110-106 on Wednesday night in a game overshadowed by the fact it could have been Steve Nash's last in a Suns uniform.
The crowd stood and chanted "We want Nash" with about 5 minutes to go, leading coach Alvin Gentry to put the 38-year-old point guard in the game for a few plays before removing him to rousing cheers. Nash is a free agent after this season and plans to evaluate what options are open for him this summer.
The Spurs sent Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili ' as well as coach Gregg Popovich ' home earlier in the day. The four will also miss San Antonio's regular-season finale at Golden State on Thursday night.
The Spurs, aleady guaranteed the No. 1 playoff spot in the Western Conference,e won their eighth in a row to remain tied with Chicago for the best record in the NBA with one game to play. The Bulls hold the tiebreaker because they beat San Antonio in their only regular-season meeting, and the issue apparently is not that important to the Spurs given the fact they aren't playing their three star players and don't even have their coach.
Phoenix was eliminated from playoff contention with a loss at Utah on Tuesday night.
Nash had eight points and seven assists in just 18 minutes, all of his scores coming in the third quarter. Completing his eighth season, winning league MVP honors in two of them, Nash left the game with 3:08 to go in the third quarter and probably would have stayed on the sidelines had the crowd not demanded his return.
As he left the court the final time to the cheers, Nash looked down but waved his right index finger briefly to the crowd.
The Spurs, who went through a full practice in Phoenix on Wednesday before the three stars and their coach went home to San Antonio, are tied with Chicago for the best record in the NBA with one game to play. The Bulls, who play at home against Cleveland on Thursday night, hold the tiebreaker because they beat San Antonio in their lone meeting of the compacted 66-game season.
Nash was scoreless with four assists in just eight minutes on the court in the first half but scored eight on 4 of 5 shooting in the third quarter.
He made a driving reverse layup from the baseline, then assisted on the next two baskets to put Phoenix ahead 76-70 in the third quarter. He left the game with 3:08 left in the period and the Suns up 76-75. The game was tied at 82-82 entering the fourth quarter.
Sebastian Telfair missed a 21-footer that would have tied it with 20 seconds left before Mills made two free throws with 12.3 seconds left to put it away.
Tiago Splitter scored 26 for San Antonio. Shannon Brown had 21 points and Telfair 20 for the Suns.
Notes: The Spurs have won 23 of their last 26 games. ... Phoenix rookie Markieff Morris went down with an injured right ankle with 3:57 to play. ... The Suns did not sell out a home game all season. ... Phoenix again was without Channing Frye (shoulder) and Grant Hill (knee). ... Nash entered the game second to Boston's Rajon Rondo in assists at 10.8 per game. ... San Antonio is in the playoffs for the 15th consecutive season, the NBA's longest active streak and seventh-longest in league history. ... Suns backup point guard Sebastian Telfair won the team's Dan Majerle Hustle Award. ... Phoenix missed the playoffs for the second season in a row and the third time in the last four. ... The Spurs clinched the West's top seed with a win at home over Portland on Monday night.