Friday , Dec , 08 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Nash’s career day lifts Suns over Nets in wild double-OT shootout

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) – Steve Nash scored a career-high 42
points, doled out 13 assists, and hit the game-tying three-pointer with 2.1
seconds left in regulation, as the Phoenix Suns outlasted the New Jersey Nets,
161-157, in double overtime.

Jason Kidd had three chances to win the game for the Nets, but came up short
each time on an otherwise career night for the Nets guard, in which he poured
in 38 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and tallied 14 assists.

Kidd dribbled the ball off of his foot with nine seconds left in the second
overtime, giving away possession when the Nets could have tied the game or
taken the lead.

Nash hit two free throws to put Phoenix up 161-157 with four seconds left,
icing the game.

Kidd was joined by six other Nets with double-figures in scoring, including
Vince Carter, with 31 points, Richard Jefferson, with 25 points, and Marcus
Williams, who scored 18 off of the bench. Mikki Moore added 14 points, Eddie
House scored 12, and Nenad Krstic scored 10 for the Nets, who lost their
second in a row.

Five Suns outside of Nash also scored in double-figures, including Shawn
Marion, with 33 points, Raja Bell, with 24 points, and Amare Stoudemire, who
scored 23 and grabbed 11 rebounds. Leandro Barbosa and Boris Diaw both scored
16 on the night, and Diaw added 14 assists for the Suns, who streaked to their
eighth straight win.

It tied for the fourth highest-scoring game in NBA history, and the highest
since 1990.

“Jason Kidd and co. were unbelievable,” said Suns head coach Mike D’Antoni.
“We just couldn’t stop them, and, conversely, they couldn’t stop us.”

The Suns had taken the lead for good when Diaw drew a major matchup advantage
against Kidd in the post, where he backed the guard down until he dropped in a
layup with 14.1 seconds left, putting Phoenix up 159-157.

Kidd had just tied the game back up, drawing a foul on a driving lay-up, and
the converting the three-point play to knot the game at 157-157 with 33.3
left.

Kidd’s pull-up jumper at the end of the first overtime banked in and out,
sending the game to a second extra session tied 143-143.

Two Kidd free throws had left the Suns down 133-130 with just 4.4 seconds left
in regulation.

Nash was able to get free on the ensuing possession, as Kidd was held up by a
screen, leaving the two-time defending MVP open at the top of the key. Nash
unleashed a high floating fadeaway as Kidd stretched in vain for the block,
and the ball miraculously fell through, knotting the game at 133-133 with just
2.1 seconds left.

The Nets were without a timeout, and Kidd’s desperation heave was long,
sending the game to overtime.

“I think we both were having a good time, and that’s what the game is
supposed to be,” said Kidd. “We’re both out there competing, neither one of us
wants to lose, and…he got the upper hand by getting the win.”

Nash’s dramatic three ended a frantic final quarter in which 84 points were
scored, with both teams topping 40 points in the quarter.

The Nets had trailed at the end of third quarter, 92-90, at the half, 64-58,
and at the end of the first quarter, 30-29.

Game Notes

The game set records for most points scored and allowed in Nets franchise
history, topping a 153-148 loss to Golden State on March 28, 1992…Kidd’s
triple-double was the 78th of his career, tying him with Wilt Chamberlain for
3rd all-time in the NBA, behind Magic Johnson (138), and Oscar Robertson
(181)…Kidd’s 38 points were a season high…Marion’s 33 points were a season
high.

NJN PHO