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Nash leaves to rousing cheers in Phoenix
spt ap Nash
Phoenix Suns' Steve Nash (13) passes the basketball off as San Antonio Spurs' Patty Mills defends during the first half of an NBA game on Wednesday night in Phoenix.

PHOENIX — Patty Mills scored 27 points and the depleted San Antonio Spurs beat Phoenix 110-106 on Wednesday night in a game overshadowed by the fact it could have been Steve Nash's last in a Suns uniform.

The crowd stood and chanted "We want Nash" with about 5 minutes to go, leading coach Alvin Gentry to put the 38-year-old point guard in the game for a few plays before removing him to rousing cheers. Nash will be a free agent after this season.

The Spurs sent Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili — as well as coach Gregg Popovich — home earlier in the day. The four will also miss San Antonio's regular-season finale at Golden State on Thursday night.

The Spurs, already guaranteed the No. 1 playoff spot in the Western Conference, won their ninth straight to remain tied with Chicago for the best record in the NBA with one game to play.

The Bulls hold the tiebreaker with a win over San Antonio in their only regular-season meeting.

Phoenix was eliminated from playoff contention with a loss at Utah on Tuesday night.

Nash had eight points and seven assists. Completing his eighth season, the two-time league MVP left the game with 3:08 to go in the third quarter and probably would have stayed on the sideline had the crowd not demanded his return.


INDIANAPOLIS — Kyle Korver scored 20 points to help Chicago beat Indiana and remain tied for the best record in the league with one to play.

The Bulls and Spurs are both 49-16 heading into Thursday's season finales. Chicago hosts Cleveland, while San Antonio closes at Golden State.

Carlos Boozer scored 16 points, and Joakim Noah had 14 points and 14 rebounds for Chicago. Derrick Rose finished with 10 points on 3-for-11 shooting in 27 minutes.

Lance Stephenson scored a career-high 22 points in his first career start for Indiana, which rested Danny Granger and Leandro Barbosa with the No. 3 playoff spot in the East locked up.


OKLAHOMA CITY — Ty Lawson scored 25 points, Kenneth Faried added 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Denver beat Oklahoma City to avoid the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.

Kevin Durant scored 32 points to extend his lead in the NBA scoring race, leaving Kobe Bryant in need of 38 points in his season finale Thursday night against Sacramento to claim his third scoring title and prevent Durant from becoming the seventh player to win three in a row.

With a win Thursday at Minnesota, Denver would be the No. 6 seed and face the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. Otherwise, the Nuggets could fall to No. 7 and have a rematch with Oklahoma City.


NEW YORK — JR Smith scored 21 points to help New York hold off Los Angeles and close in on the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Carmelo Anthony scored 17 points for the Knicks, who will draw Miami in the first round with one more win or a loss by Philadelphia. New York closes its season Thursday at Charlotte, which has one of the worst records in NBA history, while the 76ers visit Detroit. If New York loses and Philadelphia wins Thursday, the Knicks will fall to the No. 8 seed and face Chicago.

The loss dropped the Clippers a half-game behind Memphis for the No. 4 seed in the West. Los Angeles needs the Grizzlies to lose to Orlando on Thursday to open the playoffs at home.


ORLANDO, Fla. — J.J. Redick had six 3-pointers and scored a career-high 31 points as Orlando sent Charlotte to its 22nd consecutive loss.

Ryan Anderson added 24 points and 13 rebounds for the Magic, who snapped a three-game losing streak and secured the sixth seed in the East but lost forward Glen Davis to a sprained right ankle. His injury could drain the Magic's already shallow pool of big men following Dwight Howard's season-ending back surgery.

D.J. Augustin scored 23 points for the Bobcats (7-58), who head into their season finale on Thursday needing to beat New York to avoid the worst winning percentage in NBA history.

76ERS 90, BUCKS 85

MILWAUKEE — Evan Turner scored a career-high 29 points and Philadelphia beat Milwaukee despite resting some key players for the playoffs.

Jodie Meeks added 27 points for the 76ers, who eliminated the Bucks from playoff contention with their victory over New Jersey on Monday.

The 76ers rested Elton Brand, Andre Iguodala, Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young.

Brandon Jennings scored 19 points for the Bucks, who were playing short-handed in their home finale. The Bucks had only nine players take the floor, with Jennings the only regular starter on the court. Monta Ellis, Drew Gooden, Ersan Ilyasova and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute all sat.


CLEVELAND — John Wall had 21 points and 13 assists to help Washington extend its longest winning streak since 2007 to five games with a win over Cleveland.

Wall had 12 points, six assists and four steals in the third quarter, when he accounted for 24 of Washington's 28 points and helped the Wizards open a 14-point lead. Wall added seven rebounds and seven steals.

D.J. Kennedy led Cleveland with 12 points in his NBA debut, while Kyrie Irving, expected to be named the NBA's rookie of the year next month, played only 10 minutes — all in the first quarter — of the Cavs' home finale.