Phoenix guard Steve Nash made a club record 12 assists in the first quarter to help the Suns defeat the Miami Heat 111-93 in Friday's National Basketball Association action.
Nash - the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player - also tied for the second-most assists in a quarter in league history. He had 19 assists and 11 points for the night. The Suns home win is the team's sixth victory in seven games. Phoenix leads its Pacific division with 21 wins against 11 losses.
The Los Angeles Lakers pulled to an even record of 16-16 with a 119-93 rout of the visiting Philadelphia 76ers. LA star Kobe Bryant returned from a two-game suspension to net 48 points, including all seven of his shots from three-point range. The victory snapped the Lakers three-game losing streak. Philadelphia star Allen Iverson scored 31 points in a losing effort. He and Bryant are virtually tied with the top scoring average in the league with about 33 points per game.
The Dallas Mavericks scored with two seconds to go in overtime on an easy layup by Devin Harris to edge the host Denver Nuggets 114-112. Teammates Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry led the Mavs with 27 points each.
The New Jersey Nets increased their winning streak to nine games by defeating the Orlando Magic 113-106. New Jersey's Jason Kidd scored in double-digits in points, assists and rebounds for his 69th career triple-double. He had 16 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds. Vince Carter led the Nets with 31 points. New Jersey leads its Atlantic division with 18 wins against 12 losses.
Other NBA winners Friday were the Raptors, Hornets, Knicks, Hawks, Pistons, Bulls, Spurs, Grizzlies and Kings.
The Toronto Raptors won their fifth game in a row with a 112-92 rout of the Houston Rockets, the New Orleans Hornets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 90-80, and the New York Knicks thumped the Washington Wizards 113-92. The Atlanta Hawks snapped a four-game skid at the expense of the Boston Celtics, 103-98, the league-leading Detroit Pistons defeated the Seattle SuperSonics 97-85, and the Chicago Bulls rode over the Milwaukee Bucks 105-91. The defending champion San Antonio Spurs got 23 points from Tony Parker in an 83-77 win over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves. The Memphis Grizzlies snapped Utah's five-game winning streak, beating the Jazz 87-65, and the Sacramento Kings edged their cross-state rival Los Angeles Clippers 118-114. Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.