Suns 161, Nets 157, 2OT

Friday, December 8th 2006, 6:21 am
By: News On 6

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) _ For almost three hours, two of the NBA's best point guards went head to head in a shootout, neither willing to let his team lose a game that will go down as a classic.

In the end, Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns beat Jason Kidd and the New Jersey Nets 161-157 in a double-overtime thriller on Thursday night that was as good as it gets in the NBA.

``Those two point guards have the will,'' coach Mike D'Antoni said after the Suns won their eighth straight. ``They wouldn't let either team lose.''

Nash hit a remarkable 3-pointer to force the overtime, scored nine of his career-high 42 points in the second overtime and had the assist on Boris Diaw's go-ahead shot with 14 seconds left to lead the Suns in the game that matched the NBA's fourth-highest scoring total.

The classic also saw Kidd finish with 38 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists, his 78th career triple-double, tying him with Wilt Chamberlain for third place. Unfortunately, Kidd also dribbled the ball off his foot with 10 seconds to play in the second overtime, costing New Jersey a chance to tie the score.

``It's a long night at the office because he's not giving in and I'm not giving in,'' Nash said of his battle with Kidd.

In the only other NBA games Thursday night, Detroit beat Dallas 92-82 and Miami edged Sacramento 93-91 in overtime.

There was a touching moment between Kidd and Nash with about 6 minutes left in regulation. Coming out of a time out, it was announced that Kidd had tied Chamberlain's mark. As the crowd roared, Nash walked up to Kidd and patted his former Phoenix teammate on the head.

``He's one of the best competitors I ever played against,'' Nash said of Kidd. ``The thing that I admire most is that he is a winner. He competes and gives his team a chance.''

Kidd returned the compliment.

``I'm a big fan of Steve,'' Kidd said. ``I was a big fan of Steve at Santa Clara. The one thing about Steve is that he plays hard. He is a gym rat. He loves to play and he never shies away from competition.''

Kidd and Nash both played roughly 48 minutes in the game that featured 318 points, 224 shots, 27 three-pointers, 57 fouls, 34 lead changes and 21 ties. There were 17 lead changes and eight ties in the fourth quarter alone, with the last tie coming with 2.1 seconds to play when Nash came off a screen and hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to tie score at 133.

Kidd had a chance at the end of the first overtime to win it, but his shot went halfway down and popped out.

The last tie came at 157 with 33.6 seconds to play when Kidd capped a 6-0 run with a three-point play. Nash helped put Phoenix in front with his 13th and final assist, a little pass to Diaw for a short shot in the lane for a 159-157 lead.

After a timeout, Kidd dribbled the ball into the forecourt and tried to cut to his right at the top of the circle. The ball bounced off his foot and Leandro Barbosa picked it up with 9.9 seconds to play.

After a 20-second timeout, Diaw almost threw the inbound pass away. Nash recovered and was fouled, hitting both free throws with 4 seconds to go for a 161-157 lead.

Kidd missed a 3-pointer with about 3 seconds to go and the Nets dejectedly walked off the court despite breaking their previous record for points in a game, 148 against Golden State in 1992.

``I think we can go home and turn on Classic NBA,'' D'Antoni said. ``It will be on there already. That's the best game I have ever seen.''

Shawn Marion added 33 points, Raja Bell had 24 and Amare Stoudemire 23 for the Suns, who made an NBA season-high 17 3-pointers, including Nash's big one that tied the score at 133.

Vince Carter had 31 points before fouling out with 4.8 seconds left in regulation with the Nets ahead by three points. He committed the foul thinking he only had four and that the foul would prevent Phoenix from attempting a game tying 3-pointer.

Richard Jefferson scored 25 points for the Nets. Marcus Williams added 18 for New Jersey, which set a team-record for points in a game. ``It was a great game,'' Nets president Rod Thorn said. ``Both teams played at a very high level. It was an extremely competitive game, the ebb and flow of the game was incredible. It was a great basketball game. Everybody who paid to see that got their money's worth.''

Pistons 92, Mavericks 82

Rasheed Wallace scored most of his 19 points on five 3-pointers, including back-to-back shots that he emphatically celebrated, to lead visiting Detroit.

Wallace scored 10 points in the first quarter and had nine more in the third, all coming after a Dallas rally.

Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 29 points and nine rebounds.

Heat 93, Kings 91

At Sacramento, Calif., Dwyane Wade had 32 points, including seven in overtime, and added 11 rebounds and nine assists for Miami.

Wade scored the first seven points for the Heat in the extra period _ including a long corner jumper that put Miami ahead 92-85 with 2:26 left.

The Kings cut the lead to 92-91 on Brad Miller's basket inside with 33 seconds remaining. Mike Bibby had a chance to win the game, but missed on an off-balance drive to the basket in the closing seconds.

Bibby scored 19 of his 20 points after halftime, and Miller and Ron Artest added 15 each for the Kings.