7:00 PM ET, November 9, 2009
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
PHILADELPHIA -- Steve Nash heard the whispers in the offseason.
He chose to ignore them.
• The Suns finished their five-game road trip at 4-1.
• The 76ers have lost 11 of their last 15 games vs. the Suns.
• The 76ers fell to 16-20 in games in which Elton Brand has played; they are 28-25 in games he has missed.
-- ESPN Stats & Information
Opting to re-sign with the Phoenix Suns sure looks to have been the right decision for the All-Star point guard.
"I was a free agent and it was natural to explore my options," Nash said. "Some people said I was a little crazy going back to Phoenix because I wouldn't have as good a chance to win. I liked the team and coaches and I was comfortable."
Was he ever.
Nash registered the first 20-20 in points and assists in the league since he accomplished the feat in 2005-06 -- a 28-point, 22-assist performance Jan. 2, 2006, at New York. Those 22 assists still represent a career high.
"I felt good and had energy, even after a game last night," Nash said. "I felt pretty energized in the fourth quarter when we made our run and pulled away."
The Suns eclipsed the 100-point barrier for the eighth straight game to open a season, which hadn't happened since the 1990-91 season.
Phoenix, which hit 15-of-30 3-pointers, has won three straight and finished its five-game road trip at 4-1. The Suns are 7-1 overall.
"It's a little frustrating not to get the win," Brand said. "We need Ws."
Nash, who signed a two-year, $22 million extension in the summer, turned in another impressive performance after putting up 11 points and 17 assists in Sunday's 102-90 win at Washington.
Nash sparked the Suns with nine points in the third quarter as they outscored Philadelphia 30-20 to get within 86-84.
With the score tied at 106, Dudley grabbed an offensive rebound and scored. The Suns then scored five of the next seven points as Richardson converted a three-point play and added a layup -- both on assists from Nash -- to take a 113-108 lead with 1:38 left and seal the game.
"That was a big sequence for us," Stoudemire said. "It got us a big win to finish the trip. The last game of a trip is one you always want to get."
The Sixers took a 102-94 lead on a basket by Speights with 7:07 left. But the Suns responded with a quick 6-0 run on a pair of 3-pointers by Dudley to close within 102-100 less than a minute later.
"We should have had it," Iguodala said. "We were up and couldn't hold it."
Iguodala scored 12 points by halftime and helped the Sixers to a 66-54 advantage thanks to 61 percent shooting. Philadelphia made 14-of-21 from the field in the second quarter and led by as many as 16.
"We have to play smarter and harder for 24 more minutes," Sixers coach Eddie Jordan said.
Suns guard Leandro Barbosa was probable with an inflamed right hand. He played 21 minutes and scored eight points. ... The Sixers had only four turnovers at halftime. ... Philadelphia rookie Jrue Holiday had converted his first six field goals this season before finally missing in the second quarter. The Suns had 32 assists.
PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 9: Amar'e Stoudemire #1 of the Phoenix Suns shoots against Samuel Dalmebert #1 of the...(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||41-77 (.532)||44-82 (.537)|
|3PM-3PA||15-30 (.500)||5-13 (.385)|
|FTM-FTA||22-29 (.759)||22-27 (.815)|
|Fast Break Points||20||23|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||18 (1/0)||23 (2/0)|
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