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NBA Game Summary - Phoenix at LA Clippers

(Tuesday, February 20th)

Final Score: Phoenix 115, LA Clippers 90

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Steve Nash scored 13 points and dished out 12 assists before spending a large chunk of the second half enjoying his return to the lineup from the bench, as Phoenix cruised from the outset in a 115-90 rout of the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center.

Nash missed four games with a sore right shoulder, then didn't play in the All-Star Game on Sunday. He looked every bit the All-Star on Tuesday night in Los Angeles, connecting on 5-of-11 from the floor and handing out 12 assists to 4 turnovers.

"Overall, I was pleased. I haven't been running for two weeks. I'm going to fight through some soreness, but I think I'm going to be okay," said Nash about his return. "I felt rusty at times, but I was happy to contribute."

Shawn Marion and Amare Stoudemire were the recipients of Nash's dishes, finishing with 31 and 22 points respectively. Both players also grabbed nine rebounds, as the Suns outrebounded the Clippers 50-38 in snapping a three-game skid.

"We used our forces early," said Marion. "We played great defense. Everybody was looking for each other. Our ball movement was the best it's been in the last 10 games."

Corey Maggette led the Clippers with 19 points, Elton Brand had 17 points and Daniel Ewing totaled 16 points in the loss. Sam Cassell didn't play in the second half, Chris Kaman missed the contest with the flu and Doug Christie stated publicly he just doesn't want to play for the club anymore.

In a state of flux, Los Angeles has dropped four straight and six of seven.

Phoenix stepped on the gas from the beginning, going on a 14-3 spurt to open a 33-19 edge in the first stanza. Stoudemire and James Jones capped the stretch with back-to-back jumpers.

After three straight jumpers from Maggette cut the deficit to 54-45 late in the first half, Phoenix reeled off eight straight points capped by Stoudemire's driving slam as the seconds ticked toward intermission.

Phoenix scored nine in a row during the midway point of the third stanza, and Nash finished it off with a driving layup for an 83-61 advantage with 4:32 remaining.

The Suns cruised to victory from there.

Game Notes

Boris Diaw didn't play with back spasms...Phoenix improved to 20-7 away from home...The Clippers dropped to 17-10 on the road...Attendance was 19,898.

02/21 01:35:56 ET

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