Suns beat Nets in highest scoring game of NBA season

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Two overtimes, 318 points, 34 lead

changes, 21 ties and a dramatic showdown between two of the best

point guards in the game.

The Phoenix Suns beat the New Jersey 161-157 on Thursday night

in a game that was as good as it gets in the NBA.

"I think we can go home and turn on Classic NBA," Suns coach

Mike D'Antoni said. "It will be on there already. That's the best

game I have ever seen."

Elias Says

Jason Kidd
Jason Kidd recorded the 78th triple-double of his career, tying Wilt Chamberlain for third most in NBA history, behind Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson. And Kidd did it with a flourish, scoring 38 points with 14 rebounds and 14 assists. It was the third time Kidd reached 14 in all three categories.

Incidentally, Wilt was the last player with totals as high as Kidd's in all three categories. He scored 53 points with 32 rebounds and 14 assists for the 76ers in a 158-128 win over the Lakers in 1968. The only other players ever to do so were Elgin Baylor (1961) and Oscar Robertson (five times).

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Steve Nash scored nine of his career-high 42 points in the

second overtime and Boris Diaw hit a go-ahead shot in the lane with

14 seconds left to lead the Suns to their eighth straight victory

in the shootout that matched the NBA's fourth-highest points total.

The classic also saw Nets point guard Jason Kidd tie Wilt

Chamberlain for third place with 78 career triple-doubles. Kidd

finished with 38 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists, but the point

guard dribbled the ball off his foot with 10 seconds left, costing

the Nets a chance to tie.

"It was a crazy game," said Nash, who also had 13 assists in

almost 48 minutes. "They decided to run with us tonight. Both

teams deserved to win. We were lucky to come out on top."

Actually, the Suns dodged two bullets. Nash had to hit a

remarkable 3-pointer at the end of regulation to force the overtime

and then Kidd had a shot at the end of the first overtime go

halfway down and fall out.

"For the NBA it was one of those games they would like to see

more often," Kidd said. "You know, guys were playing hard. It was

a clean game, a lot of points, but it came down the last couple of

minutes of each quarter, and it probably will be a classic."

Shawn Marion added 33 points, Raja Bell had 24 and Amare

Stoudemire 23 for the Suns, who made an NBA season-high 17

3-pointers, including Nash's big one that tied the game at 133.

Vince Carter had 31 points before fouling out with 4.8 seconds

left in regulation with the Nets ahead by three points. He

committed the foul thinking he only had four and that the foul

would prevent Phoenix from attempting a game tying 3-pointer.

Richard Jefferson scored 25 points for the Nets. Marcus Williams

added 18 for New Jersey, which set a team-record for points in a


The wide-open game featured 224 shots, 27 three-pointers, 57

fouls and a remarkably low 29 total turnovers.

The last tie came at 157 with 33.6 seconds to play when Kidd

capped a 6-0 run with a three-point play. Nash helped put Phoenix

in front with his 13th and final assist, a little pass to Diaw for

a short shot in lane for a 159-157 lead.

After a timeout, Kidd dribbled the ball into the forecourt and

tried to cut to his right at the top of the circle. The ball

bounced off his foot and Leandro Barbosa picked it up with 9.9

seconds to play.

After a 20-second timeout, Diaw almost threw the inbounds pass

away. Nash recovered and was fouled, hitting both free throws with

4 seconds to go for a 161-157 lead.

Kidd missed a 3-pointer with about 3 seconds to go and the Nets

dejectedly walked off the court despite breaking their previous

record for points in a game, 148 against Golden State in 1992.

Kidd had a chance to win the game at the end of the first

overtime but his off-balance fadeaway jumper from the elbow went

halfway down and popped out, sending the game to the second

overtime. The popout also spoiled a Nets' celebration that saw

Carter run off the bench and then hold his head in disbelief.

The Nets were seemingly on the verge of victory in regulation

when Kidd hit two free throws with 4.4 seconds to play to give New

Jersey a 133-130 lead.

After Phoenix called its final timeout, Nash came off a

foul-line screen by Kurt Thomas, caught an inbounds pass from Diaw,

squared his shoulder and nailed a tying 3-pointer.

The fourth quarter alone was wild. There were 17 lead changes

and eight ties.

When Kidd's triple double was announced at the Continental

Airlines Arena at the end of a time out midway through the fourth

quarter, the crowd cheered and Nash walked up to Kidd and patted

his former teammate on the head.Game notes
Detroit and Denver played the highest-scoring game in NBA

history in February 1983, with the Pistons beating the Nuggets

186-184 in three overtimes. ... Nets coach Lawrence Frank was

unhappy with a couple of calls and got hit with a technical foul in

the third quarter. ... Nash and Nets C Mikki Moore were called for

technicals after a little fourth-quarter flareup. ... Nets G Eddie

House had 18 points in his third game of the season. He missed the

first 15 games because of knee surgery. ... Nets are 0-6 at home

when they trail entering the fourth quarter. ... Denver had the

previous high this season with 140 points against Golden State on

Nov. 24.