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Nash foresees Game 7

LAKERS VS. SUNS: GAME 5 : WESTERN FINALS: GAME 5

'Hey ... everything is OK,' says Suns point guard, who scores 29 in a tough loss.

May 28, 2010|Broderick Turner

Steve Nash sat at the podium during his postgame interview, a stony look on his face, a look more of determination than anything else.

His Phoenix Suns had just lost, 103-101, to the Lakers in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals that was determined by Ron Artest's follow-up of Kobe Bryant's miss as time expired.

Nash's team is near elimination, trailing 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, but that didn't stop him from making a bold statement.

"We lost and they held home court," Nash said. "We'll go back home and do the same and we'll come back here for Game 7."

Maybe Nash felt that way because the Suns overcame an 18-point third-quarter deficit and tied the score, 101-101, on a Jason Richardson three-pointer with 3.5 seconds left. Maybe Nash felt that way because he started to have his way against the Lakers, scoring 29 points -- his high in the series -- on 12-for-20 shooting.

He also had 11 assists and just two turnovers in 35 minutes. He had nine points in the fourth period, missing just one of his five shots.

"I was just determined to try to win," Nash said. "I kept getting opportunities and just concentrated and tried to do what I could to win the game."

The Suns won both games at US Airways Center, site of Game 6 on Saturday night. If the Suns do win that game and force a Game 7, it will be back at Staples Center on Monday night.

"Hey, um, everything is OK," Nash said. "We came back, obviously, with a great effort. Maybe we deserved this game, maybe we didn't."

The Suns got pushed around on the boards, with the Lakers gathering 19 offensive rebounds.

In the last moments, Bryant took the inbounds pass from Lamar Odom and was surrounded by Grant Hill and Nash. Bryant hoisted a three-point attempt that was an airball.

Richardson was supposed to screen out Artest, but he followed the flight of the ball instead. Artest caught it in midair and scored as the game ended.

"I thought it was less time on the clock," Richardson said. "Ron got underneath me and made a layup.

"What else can you say?"

The Suns looked stunned.

Nash put his hands on his head and walked off the court.

"We had an opportunity to win and didn't quite get it done," Suns Coach Alvin Gentry said. "But we're not going to get discouraged. We're not happy, I can tell you that. We're very disappointed. We're not jovial. But we'll be OK."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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