Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/19

Game 1: Tuesday, December 19th
Game 2: Wednesday, January 3rd

Suns 100

(23-8, 11-5 away)

Raptors 98

(13-19, 8-5 home)

    7:00 PM ET, January 3, 2007

    Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 29 31 18 22100
    TOR 23 22 23 3098

    Top Performers

    PHX: A. Stoudemire 15 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Stl, 6 Blk

    Tor: C. Bosh 26 Pts, 14 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Nash scores 13 in fourth as Suns hold off Raptors

    TORONTO (AP) -- Steve Nash struggled for most of his first game in Canada this season before showing in the fourth quarter why he is a two-time MVP.

    Nash scored 13 of his 15 points in the fourth to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 100-98 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

    Nash was only 1-for-7 from the field through three quarters, but he recovered in the fourth. The Canadian -- dubbed "Captain Canada" -- scored eight of Phoenix's final nine points.

    "I just felt really slow and old for three quarters and then all of a sudden I had a rebirth," said Nash, who had eight points in the final 1:19.

    He also had nine assists for the Suns, who are 22-3 since starting the season 1-5.

    "That was a struggle for me," Nash said. "Physically I didn't feel great and I didn't play great, but my teammates did a great job of sticking with it and I just tried to be there for them in the fourth quarter."

    Attendance was 20,063 -- the fifth largest regular-season crowd in Air Canada Centre history.

    Toronto's Chris Bosh returned from a 12-game absence and had 26 points and 14 rebounds.

    After Bosh's layup gave Toronto a 92-91 lead with 1:23 left, Nash followed just four seconds later with a 3-pointer to regain the lead for Phoenix.

    Bosh followed with a three-point play to give Toronto a 95-93 lead with 1:02 left, but Bosh fouled Nash on a 3-point attempt. Nash made his first free throws of the game to give Phoenix a 97-95 lead with 43 seconds left.

    After Toronto's Andrea Bargnani committed an offensive foul, Nash made a 15-foot fadeaway jumper over Bosh to make it 99-95 with 11 seconds remaining.

    "It takes a lot of guts to take those shots that he takes, but that's why he is who he is," Bosh said.

    Toronto's Anthony Parker followed with a 3-pointer, but Shawn Marion made one of two free throws and Toronto's Darrick Martin missed badly on a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded.

    "Steve made some big shots for us. He came up big for us at the end. What more can you ask," Marion said.

    Raja Bell had 17 points and eight rebounds for the Suns, who had six players score in double figures. The Suns went 3-0 on their eastern road trip.

    Toronto has lost three straight.

    The Suns led by as many as 17 in the first half, but Martin rallied Toronto with consecutive 3-pointers during a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter as Toronto took a one-point lead.

    The Raptors played without two other starters. Point guard T.J. Ford missed his second straight game with a sprained right ankle and forward Jorge Garbajosa missed the game with a strained calf.

    Bosh said he felt good. He played 41 minutes.

    Game notes

    Nash received the 2006 Lionel Conacher Award as Canadian male athlete of the year before the game. He was asked about winning a third straight MVP. "Having won twice, I never would have predicted that, so my bank account's full, I can't really lose," Nash said. "If I don't win it this year, it's no big deal. If I do, it obviously would just be incredible." ... Former Raptor Jalen Rose greeted everyone when he arrived at the Air Canada Centre.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 100 98
    FGM-FGA 37-80 (.463) 38-90 (.422)
    3PM-3PA 10-25 (.400) 10-19 (.526)
    FTM-FTA 16-18 (.889) 12-17 (.706)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-42 15-44
    Assists 29 21
    Turnovers 21 15
    Steals 9 13
    Blocks 10 4
    Fast Break Points 18 10
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (0/0) 19 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 17 1

    Top Performers

    Amar'e Stoudemire Stoudemire
    Points: 15
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 6
    Chris Bosh Bosh
    Points: 26
    Reb: 14
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2