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Nash, Suns down Nuggets

Dec 21, 2008 - 5:50 AM PHOENIX (Ticker) -- Steve Nash hit two late 3-pointers to give the Phoenix Suns a 108-101 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday.

"He came up big for us," Suns coach Terry Porter said. "He passed up on a couple of shots that I would like to see him take early in the shot clock. He came up and made some big shots, made some big plays and was just solid. He had 16 points, 11 assists and only three turnovers ... he was solid for us."

The teams battled back and forth in the final quarter. After Chauncey Billups hit a 3-point shot to tie the game at 101-101. Nash countered from long range to give the Suns a 104-101 advantage.

Billups then missed from behind the arc and the Suns had numerous chances at the hoop before Nash connected from long range to make it 107-101 with 59 seconds left.

"I just tried to be aggressive and look for opportunities to help us win the game," Nash said. "I was fortunate to make some tonight that.

"I thought our defense was solid down the stretch, we made some shots but also forced some turnovers and got some rebounds and played pretty well. Overall, it was a pretty good effort and good defense down the stretch."

Nash had 16 points and 11 assists in his battle with Billups, who went for 18 and eight. Billups also had seven turnovers.

"That was uncharacteristic of us to turn the ball over in tough situations, and they made some big plays," Billups said. "Steve Nash hits a couple of big, big shots, you have got to give them credit, they took care of their homecourt tonight."

Amare Stoudemire scored 27 points for the Suns, who put all five starters in double figures.

"A tough game going down the stretch," Stoudemire said. "It was a tie score for a minute, couple of big plays, big rebounds, a couple of big shots, kind of gave us the last few minutes momentum, something that we needed.

"The great thing about tonight is that we played solid defense down the stretch, closed out the game and got the win."

J.R. Smith led the Nuggets with 23 points off the bench.

"The fourth quarter is free throws and turnovers and offensive rebounds," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "We are a very good rebounding team until the last two minutes of the game.

"They get two, maybe three more offensive possessions because of their offensive rebounding. Nash is Nash, he's special, I don't know if he had that planned, but once he made the first one, I knew the second one was in, I've seen him do it so many times."