Suns top century mark for eighth straight game to open season
PHILADELPHIA -- Steve Nash heard the whispers in the offseason.
He chose to ignore them.
Opting to re-sign with the Phoenix Suns sure looks to have been the right decision for the All-Star point guard.
Jason Richardson scored 29 points, Nash added 21 points and tied his season-high with 20 assists and the Suns beat the Philadelphia 76ers 119-115 on Monday night.
"I was a free agent and it was natural to explore my options," Nash said. "Some people said I was a little crazy going back to Phoenix because I wouldn't have as good a chance to win. I liked the team and coaches and I was comfortable."
Was he ever.
Nash registered the first 20-20 in points and assists in the league since he accomplished the feat in 2005-06 -- a 28-point, 22-assist performance Jan. 2, 2006, at New York. Those 22 assists still represent a career high.
"I felt good and had energy, even after a game last night," Nash said. "I felt pretty energized in the fourth quarter when we made our run and pulled away."
The Suns eclipsed the 100-point barrier for the eighth straight game to open a season, which hadn't happened since the 1990-91 season.
Jared Dudley contributed 18, Amare Stoudemire added 17, Grant Hill had 11 and Channing Frye 10 for the high-flying Suns, who entered the game averaging a league-high 109.7 points per game.
Phoenix, which hit 15-of-30 3-pointers, has won three straight and finished its five-game road trip at 4-1. The Suns are 7-1 overall.
Andre Iguodala scored 24 points, Marreese Speights added 20, Thaddeus Young had 15 and Lou Williams 13 for the Sixers (3-4). Elton Brand also had 10 for Philadelphia.
"It's a little frustrating not to get the win," Brand said. "We need Ws."
Nash, who signed a two-year, $22 million extension in the summer, turned in another impressive performance after putting up 11 points and 17 assists in Sunday's 102-90 win at Washington.
Nash sparked the Suns with nine points in the third quarter as they outscored Philadelphia 30-20 to get within 86-84.
With the score tied at 106, Dudley grabbed an offensive rebound and scored. The Suns then scored five of the next seven points as Richardson converted a three-point play and added a layup -- both on assists from Nash -- to take a 113-108 lead with 1:38 left and seal the game.
"That was a big sequence for us," Stoudemire said. "It got us a big win to finish the trip. The last game of a trip is one you always want to get."
The Sixers took a 102-94 lead on a basket by Speights with 7:07 left. But the Suns responded with a quick 6-0 run on a pair of 3-pointers by Dudley to close within 102-100 less than a minute later.
"We should have had it," Iguodala said. "We were up and couldn't hold it."
Iguodala scored 12 points by halftime and helped the Sixers to a 66-54 advantage thanks to 61 percent shooting. Philadelphia made 14-of-21 from the field in the second quarter and led by as many as 16.
"We have to play smarter and harder for 24 more minutes," Sixers coach Eddie Jordan said.
Suns guard Leandro Barbosa was probable with an inflamed right hand. He played 21 minutes and scored eight points. ... The Sixers had only four turnovers at halftime. ... Philadelphia rookie Jrue Holiday had converted his first six field goals this season before finally missing in the second quarter. The Suns had 32 assists.
Regular Season Series
PHX leads 1-0
- Bennett Salvatore
- Joe Forte
- Eli Roe
2022-23 Pacific Standings
2022-23 Atlantic Standings