This was one of those games that could have gone either way – and did, several times before Steve Nash’s three late jumps shots put it in the win column for the Suns.
Nash, flashing some of his old MVP form, hit a deuce with 3:25 left to put the Suns up by three, a trey to put the Suns back ahead by three at 2:47, and another trey to put the Suns up by six at: 59.
Not too shabby for a guy everybody is whispering (some right here in town and right out loud) is starting to show signs of old-timer’s disease.
And don’t look now, but for a team’s that’s spent most of the year on the couch being treated for real and alleged identity problems, the Suns are looking surprisingly sound in the results column, this being their fifth straight home win and fifth in the last seven games overall. And they are sitting six games above .500 heading into a mini-break before returning to action against the Spurs here on Christmas Day.
Granted, if one wished to insert a little scrooge/grinch note by way of balancing all the holiday cheer, one could grumble that the Suns finally found somebody who could out-fumble them for the “L”, so to speak. But while the Nuggets did offset the Suns’ customary 16 turnovers with 22 of their own, this writer doesn’t wish to go there, so you’ll have to shop elsewhere for your humbug.
And although both teams did have almost as much trouble holding onto the ball as the lead, this was a night to celebrate Nash’s heroics, and another powerful performance by Amare Stoudemire, who delivered 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks, the second of which may well have saved the game. Nash, incidentally, had 11 assists and only 3 turnovers to go with his game-closing hot streak.
Oh, and by the way, how about a nice round of applause for Grant Hill, who deserves credit for helping shut down Carmelo Anthony. The Denver star, who scored 33 points in ONE period last week managed only 10 on three for 13 shooting and had only one rebound. And while he did have three assists, he also had four turnovers.
The bottom line: What else? Have a Merry Christmas.