Nash becomes Suns' assist leader in winFeb 2, 2012 - 5:02 AM New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Steve Nash was all the Suns needed on Wednesday.
The veteran point guard dropped in a game-high 30 points while shooting 13- of-16 from the floor and dished out 10 assists as the Suns topped the struggling New Orleans Hornets, 120-103, at New Orleans Arena.
Nash also became the Suns' career leader in assists with 6,521, passing Kevin Johnson, who previously held the record with 6,518.
"We shot the ball well. I thought that was a big key," Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said. "We had good rhythm in our offense. Obviously when Steve is going like that we're pretty good."
Marcin Gortat contributed his 12th double-double in his last 13 games with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Channing Frye netted 16 and Jared Dudley finished with 15 points for the Suns, who bounced back from a 122-99 thumping against Dallas on Monday.
Greivis Vasquez paced the Hornets with 20 points and 12 assists -- both career-highs -- while Jason Smith and Trevor Ariza had 16 and 15 points, respectively, for New Orleans, which has lost three straight and 12 of its last 13 games.
With the game tied at 91 early in the final quarter, the Suns put the game away with a 17-3 burst to take a 108-94 lead, capped by a Nash trey with 5:10 to play in regulation.
Another jumper by Nash with less than two minutes to play gave the Suns their largest lead of the game, 116-96, and they cruised to the win from there.
After a closely contested first quarter which featured eight ties and 11 lead changes, Gustavo Ayon drained an eight-foot jumper with 36 seconds left to give the Hornets a 27-25 advantage.
Trailing, 28-27, early in the second quarter, New Orleans used a 20-8 run to build up a 47-36 lead with 4:45 to play in the opening half.
A trey by Jarrett Jack gave the Hornets their largest lead of the half at 57-44, but Phoenix closed the first 24 minutes with a 12-2 burst to get within three, 59-56, at halftime.
"We played badly down the stretch of that first half. It carried over into the second half," Hornets head coach Monty Williams said. "I thought we got a little frustrated with Nash scoring a little bit. Their bench came in and did a great job and we never were able to recover from that."
Trailing by six with 5:56 to play in the third frame, New Orleans used a quick 7-0 burst to take a 75-74 lead with four minutes to play in the quarter.
Sebastian Telfair nailed a trey with 42 seconds left in the quarter, then put home a layup off a turnover by Smith to give the Suns an 88-84 lead, but Marco Belinelli dropped a three-pointer at the third quarter buzzer to pull New Orleans to within 88-87 heading into the fourth.
Suns forward Grant Hill did not come out for the second half due to soreness in his knee...It was the Suns' highest offensive output of the season...Phoenix won for the first time this season when trailing at halftime...Jack, Belinelli and Ayon all finished with 10 points for the Hornets...Phoenix shot 52.6 percent from the floor and 6-of-15 from beyond the arc, while New Orleans shot 51.9 percent from the floor and 9-of-16 from three-point range...The Suns turned 17 New Orleans turnovers into 27 points.
- PHOENIX: 120
NEW ORLEANS: 103
Feb 1 10:27 PM
- PHOENIX: 88
NEW ORLEANS: 87
End of 3rd
Feb 1 9:53 PM
- PHOENIX: 56
NEW ORLEANS: 59
Feb 1 9:08 PM
- PHOENIX: 0
NEW ORLEANS: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Feb 1 8:11 PM
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