Sunday , Dec , 31 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Nash leads Phoenix over Detroit

Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) – Steve Nash posted 35 points and 12
assists, as the Phoenix Suns downed the Detroit Pistons, 108-101, in a battle
of division leaders at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Amare Stoudemire notched 31 points and 13 rebounds for the Suns, who have won
three of four. Raja Bell and Shawn Marion added 15 points apiece.

“Steve (Nash) and Amare (Stoudemire) had a stretch that was unbelievable and
got us the win,” Phoenix coach Mike D’Antoni said.

Richard Hamilton scored 31 points for the Pistons, who lost their third
straight. Ronald Murray posted 18 points and seven assists, while Tayshaun
Prince had 14 points and six boards. Carlos Delfino added 11 points and seven
boards off the bench.

“You can’t give him [Nash] that much space,” Prince said. “You can’t give a
player like that too much space. I know it’s difficult to guard him, but
whatever you decide to do you can’t lay off.”

With Detroit trailing 106-99, Murray scored on a jumper with 11 seconds left
to make it a two-possession game, however Marion converted a pair of free
throws five seconds later to seal the win for Phoenix.

Phoenix went on a 14-4 run down the first-quarter stretch capped by a
Stoudemire layup with 1:18 remaining, and led 29-22 heading into the second.

Detroit trimmed a point off its deficit in the second to trail 56-50 at
halftime. Both teams scored 28 points in the third, as Phoenix led 84-78
heading into the final stanza.

Game Notes

Bell got ejected after receiving his second technical foul in the fourth
quarter after shoving Hamilton…Detroit, which is now tied with Chicago in
the Central standings, went 2-0 against Phoenix last season and has won five
of seven and seven of the last 10 meetings…Phoenix snapped a three-game
losing streak at Detroit.