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Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009

Suns rout Warriors

Nash dishes out 20 assists in home opener

PHOENIX (AP) Anybody waiting for Steve Nash to show his age, well, keep waiting.

News photo
Kings in Carolina: Charlotte Bobcats managing partner Michael Jordan talks with head coach Larry Brown before Friday night's game against the Knicks. AP PHOTO

The 35-year-old point guard scored 18 points and had the sixth 20-assist game of his career Friday night in Phoenix's 123-101 rout of the Golden State Warriors in the Suns' home opener.

The performance came two nights after he scored 14 fourth-quarter points, including the game-winning basket, in the Suns' season opener at the Los Angeles Clippers.

"I'll wait for you guys to decide when I'm over the hill," Nash said.

All five Phoenix starters scored in double figures, led by Leandro Barbosa's 24 points. Channing Frye, the former University of Arizona star making his home debut for the Suns, added 22, including making 6 of 7 3-pointers, four in the fourth quarter.

Amare Stoudemire added 20 points and Grant Hill had 18 for Phoenix.

Monta Ellis led the Warriors with 19 points, while Kelenna Azubuike added 17.

Nash's 20 assists were two shy of his career high, set in a triple-overtime game against New York on Jan. 2, 2006.

He narrowly missed his first 20-point, 20-assist game in regulation. He had one in that three-overtime game against the Knicks.

Nash had 21 assists — his fifth game with 20 assists — at Detroit last Feb. 8.

He said the 20-assist mark was no big deal.

He said the Suns need to win the few early season games they have at home.

"I think everyone knows — 17 of 26 on the road to start the season — so we've got to win some of these early ones and we've got to win some of these home games so that we can give ourselves a little confidence," Nash said, "and a little breathing room so if we lose a couple it's not the end of the world."

Golden State rookie point guard Stephen Curry, who had 12 points and four assists, got an up-close look at Nash.

"He saw a great point guard tonight that he would like to emulate," Warriors coach Don Nelson said.

Celtics 118, Bulls 90

In Boston, Paul Pierce scored 20 of his 22 points in the third quarter, and the Celtics rolled to a victory over Chicago in the teams' first matchup since last spring's thrilling seven-game playoff series.

Ray Allen had 20 points for Boston and Kevin Garnett, who missed the final 25 games of the regular season and the playoffs with strained ligaments in his right knee, added 16. Rajon Rondo had 16 assists and eight rebounds as the Celtics improved to 3-0.

Cavs 104, Timberwolves 87

In Minneapolis, Cleveland superstar LeBron James scored 24 points and had nine rebounds and six assists to avoid his first 0-3 start in five years.

Mavericks 94, Lakers 80

In Los Angeles, Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points and Dallas was 25-for-32 from the free-throw line in routing the Lakers for its first win of the season.

Thunder 91, Pistons 83

In Auburn Hills, Mich., Kevin Durant scored 11 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter for Oklahoma City, which is 2-0 for the first time since the 2003-04 season when it was in Seattle.

Heat 96, Pacers 83

In Indianapolis, Jermaine O'Neal had 22 points and 12 rebounds against his former team.

Dwyane Wade scored 32 points for Miami, which has won its first two games by a combined 35 points.

Magic 95, Nets 85

In East Rutherford, N.J., Vince Carter returned to New Jersey and scored 16 points before leaving the game against his former teammates in the second quarter with a sprained left ankle.

All-Star center Dwight Howard had 20 points, 22 rebounds and four blocks for Orlando.

Hawks 100, Wizards 89

In Atlanta, Josh Smith scored 20 points and reached a blocked shots milestone, and the Hawks held off Gilbert Arenas and Washington.

Smith, 23, rejected a shot by Arenas in the fourth quarter to become the youngest player in NBA history to block 900 shots. Shaquille O'Neal was 24 years old when he reached 900.

Bobcats 102, Knicks 100 (2OT)

In Charlotte, D.J. Augustin made two free throws with 2.5 seconds left in the second overtime and the Bobcats recovered from blowing an 18-point, fourth-quarter lead.

Grizzlies 115, Raptors 107

In Memphis, Zach Randolph scored 30 points to lead the hosts to their first victory of the season.

Hornets 97, Kings 92

In New Orleans, All-Star Chris Paul scored 31 points and Emeka Okafor capped another strong performance by blocking Kevin Martin's tying 3-point attempt in the final seconds.

Jazz 111, Clippers 98

In Salt Lake City, Paul Millsap scored 17 of his 23 of his points in the second half, and Utah used a 15-0 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to beat Los Angeles.

76ers 99, Bucks 86

In Philadelphia, Andre Iguodala scored 19 points, Elton Brand had 17 and the 76ers bounced back from a dismal opener.

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Visit The Japan Times' Web site for a recap of Saturday's bj-league games.

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