The Lakers ruled the veteran point guard out about an hour before tipoff.
Nash did not participate in Friday's shootaround and worked out in the weight room instead because he wanted to limit the stress on his lower body and give two epidural injections -- and the cortisone shot to his right hip he underwent Thursday -- time to sink in.
"I'm not limping this morning like I was [Thursday], but I still feel a lot of pain and irritation," Nash said.
With Kobe Bryant (Achilles), Steve Blake (hamstring), Nash and Jodie Meeks (ankle) out, Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni started second-year guards Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock in the backcourt with the series returning to Staples Center and L.A. facing an 0-2 deficit.
Meeks sat out the shootaround after an MRI on Thursday showed a slight ligament tear in his left ankle.
"It hurts, and he can't play right now," D'Antoni said.
Morris, selected No. 41 in 2011, averaged 5 points while playing 15.5 minutes a game through the first two games of the series. He started in place of Blake.
Goudelock, selected No. 46, was cut by the Lakers in training camp and called up from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers shortly after Bryant's injury. He played the final six minutes in Game 2, registering 2 points, one steal and one assist, finishing the game after the Lakers trailed 91-74. He was presented with the D-League MVP trophy for the 2012-13 season before the game Friday.
"I think they'll play really hard and they'll be full of energy and make some mistakes, but they're NBA players. They're ready to go," D'Antoni said. "We're going inside [to Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol]; the ball is still going to go inside. We got to dominate there, and then I think they'll be fine."
The Lakers' injury news doesn't end there. Metta World Peace had approximately 20 CCs of liquid drained from a popliteal cyst in his left leg Friday morning. The cyst was unrelated to the left knee surgery World Peace underwent in late March, according to a team spokesman.
World Peace posted two photos of the syringe that extracted the fluid from his knee to his Twitter account following the procedure, writing, "My knee is in really good shape. The last two games this Bakers Cyst was tough to play with. Just drained it. Whoa!"
World Peace is averaging 9 points and 5.5 rebounds in the playoffs while shooting 31.8 percent from the field, including a 2-for-11 mark from 3-point range.
"I think he'll be ready," D'Antoni said. "He could have played anyway. I think it makes him feel better, and he'll be ready to go."
The Lakers could get a lift from the home crowd by having Bryant back in the building for the first time since he tore the Achilles in his left leg April 12 against the Golden State Warriors.
Bryant was on crutches at the Lakers' practice facility Friday and undergoing rehab, just three days after having the cast removed from his left leg and switching to a protective walking boot.
"He might be on the bench," D'Antoni said of Bryant. "I don't think he'll get in tonight, but he'll be on the bench."