If the current crop of trade rumors are troubling Steve Nash, the Phoenix Suns point guard certainly isn't showing it. He's been playing with plenty of verve and renewed vigor since recovering from a bruised thigh, including nabbing a franchise assist record last week and helping Planet Orange to a 99-90 road win over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday evening.
Nash was on fire for most of the night, leading the Suns in the stats after going 9-12 and racking up 24 points and 11 assists. Twelve of his points came from a quartet of three-pointers, including a last-second buzzer beater that sent Phoenix into halftime with a seven-point advantage. It was also a great night for Channing Frye, who had 19 points.
It's the second victory in a row for the Suns (10-14) and their fifth win out of the last 10 games. Conversely, the Hawks (16-9) have lost four straight. Atlanta's latest defeat last night came after Phoenix played with much confidence and controlled the first half and got key contributions from such bench players during the latter quarters.
Reserve players like Michael Redd (10 points), Sebastian Telfair (nine points), and Markieff Morris (seven points) helped fuel a double-digit lead during a hot third quarter, followed by an 11-0 run in the fourth to bring home a much-needed win for Phoenix. Atlanta managed to whittle their deficit down to nine points in the middle of the final stanza, only to be outlasted by the Suns.
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Phoenix will seek to keep the momentum going as they continue their current road trip and travel to Wisconsin to battle the Milwaukee Bucks (10-13). Tipoff is at 6 p.m. For more info, see www.suns.com.