Suns rally to beat Lakers in Nash's return for LA

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 31, 2013 at 2:10 am •  Published: January 31, 2013
Advertisement
;

That set up Beasley's drive. The Suns reserve, whose play has blossomed since Hunter took over, had the ball knocked away by Peace as the shot clock wound down, but managed to drive to the hoop for a layup that made 88-86.

"Once I picked it up and seen I had 2 seconds to go, the only thing I was trying to do was get it toward the basket," Beasley said. "It was just that kind of a night, I guess."

Bryant's driving miss followed and the Suns wrapped it up from the foul line.

"Michael Beasley was incredible tonight," Hunter said. "He's been working really hard to get to this point and I really see promise in his future and just continue to encourage him."

A video tribute to Nash during a first-quarter timeout drew a rousing standing ovation from the crowd, a mixture of Lakers and Suns fans. Nash responded with a wave as the Lakers came back onto the court.

It was a warm remembrance of the high-flying style that Nash, with D'Antoni his coach, brought to Phoenix. Nash won two MVPs and the team made the Western Conference finals twice in Nash's eight seasons. Nash, who turns 39 on Feb. 7, left the Suns for Los Angeles in a sign-and-trade deal at the end of last season.

"This is a very special place for me and to be recognized by the fans is incredible," he said. "I am definitely very grateful for the reception but also for my time here, which are among the best years of my life."

Nash finished with 11 points and two assists.

Marcin Gortat had 14 points and 12 rebounds as five Suns reached double figures.

Neither team led by more than five points in the first half with the game tied at 41 at the break.

The Lakers outscored Phoenix 23-10 to start the third quarter, taking a 64-51 lead on a layup by Peace with 3:26 left in the period. He also had a pair of 3s in the run.

Jamison finished the quarter with a long 2-pointer, followed by a 3, and the Lakers led 73-63 entering the fourth.

It was a stretch of 10 consecutive points for Jamison, whose layup made it 78-65 with 10 minutes to play.

Notes: The Suns were in black uniforms for the first time since 2000. ... The Lakers don't play at home until Feb. 12, against Phoenix. ... Suns C Jermaine O'Neal missed his fifth straight game because of an irregular heartbeat. ... D'Antoni had lunch Wednesday with good friend Gentry. ... 18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps was in the crowd.