steve nash

The Phoenix Suns are a shadow of the frenetic scoring machine they were a few years ago. Maybe that makes the season Steve Nash is having all the more impressive.

Not surrounded by an abundance of talent, on a team that stood 12-18 going into Friday night’s game against the Lakers in Los Angeles, Nash leads the league in assists at 10.7 and is the top shooter among guards at 56 percent. That’s third overall among players at any position and would be his career best if it holds up for the season.

On his 38th birthday, Feb. 7, Nash had 18 points and 11 assist, including the game-winning layup with 5 seconds to go in a 107-105 win at Milwaukee. For the eighth time in his 16-year NBA career, he made the All-Star Game roster.

There has been one concession to his age. Coach Alvin Gentry held him out of Tuesday’s loss at Denver so he wouldn’t have to play three consecutive nights. The next night he had 22 points and 16 assists but his team faded down the stretch in a home loss to Atlanta.

“People are saying `Hey, you’re playing great for 38,”’ said Lon Babby, the Suns’ president for basketball operations. “My answer to that is `No, he’s just playing great—period.”

– Reported by Bob Baum of the Associated Press