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Nash posts double-double as Suns win 8th of 10

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Golden State Warriors seemed happy to
challenge the Phoenix Suns to a fast-paced shooting match. Bad
idea.

Steve Nash had 20 points and 16 assists and the Phoenix Suns won
for the eighth time in 10 games, leading from the opening basket
Thursday night in a 112-99 victory.

"We thought we could run with them," the Warriors' Baron Davis
said, "but they showed that we couldn't."

Shawn Marion had 21 points and 12 rebounds and Boris Diaw scored
20 for the Suns, whose only losses in the last 10 both came in
triple-overtime.

All five starters scored in double figures for Phoenix. The Suns
shot 52 percent from the field and 13-for-25 from 3-point range.
Raja Bell had 17 points, Kurt Thomas 15 points and 16 rebounds and
Eddie House 15 points.

"When we're flying and everybody's contributing, that's when
we're at our best," Bell said.

Nash, who had a career-high 22 assists in a triple-overtime loss
in New York 10 days ago, earned his ninth double-double in the last
10 games. Even minus injured Amare Stoudemire, out for at least
another month, the Suns lead the Pacific Division by 3½ games.

"This is a chance to get a little bit of separation if we play
well. We blew one in Denver but tonight was a good one and we've
got a few coming up here," Nash said.

Golden State has lost four in a row and nine of 12. At 17-18,
the Warriors fell under .500 for the first time this season.

Davis scored 22 for the Warriors, who had six in double figures.
Mike Dunleavy added 15 points. Ike Diogu, in his first game in
Phoenix since leaving Arizona State for the NBA, scored 13. Jason
Richardson had 12 on 5-for-14 shooting. Golden State shot 38
percent.

"It's pretty obvious to me our confidence is shot a little bit
and we're just going to have to work our way through it," Warriors
coach Mike Montgomery said. "We've got guys who are missing shots
they can make."

The Suns scored the first nine points of the game and were up by
as many as 22 in the second half.

"One of the big things we wanted to do was get out there early
and jump on them, especially knowing that they played last night,"
Thomas said.

Nash had 15 points and 13 assists in the first half, when the
Suns shot 56 percent and led 64-54.

Phoenix outscored Golden State 14-5 to start the second half,
taking a 78-59 lead on Diaw's 7-foot hook shot with 6:49 left in
the third quarter. Diaw's 17-footer with 1:27 to play made it
90-70.

Consecutive 3-pointers by Davis cut the lead to 99-85 with 5:58
to play, and Suns coach Mike D'Antoni put Marion and Nash back in
the game to close it out.

Phoenix was coming off a triple-overtime loss at Denver on
Tuesday night.

"Our guys don't feel like they're tired right now," D'Antoni
said. "I don't know what the deal is."<
^Notes@ The Warriors took 102 shots, 17 more than the Suns, and made
39. ... Davis met with USA Basketball chief Jerry Colangelo on
Thursday and said he was interested in making the three-year
commitment to be part of the 2008 Olympic team. Colangelo chose not
to meet with Richardson. ... Richardson, guarded mostly by Marion,
missed his first four shots and didn't get his first field goal
until making a layup with 37.7 seconds left in the half. ... Suns
guard Leandro Barbosa, out since Dec. 10 with a left knee sprain,
said he expects to return for Saturday's game against Cleveland.