AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — The Phoenix Suns might decide standing pat is an attractive option at the trade deadline.
Steve Nash scored 15 and had a season-high 21 assists, directing a balanced offense for Phoenix in a 107-97 win over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night.
Amare Stoudemire, the main subject of trade speculation with the NBA’s deadline Feb. 19, had 18 points and seven rebounds. Jason Richardson scored 21, Shaquille O’Neal had nine of his 20 points in the pivotal second period, and Grant Hill added 10 points for the Suns.
Richard Hamilton scored 27 and Allen Iverson had 25 points for the Pistons, who have lost 11 of 17. Rasheed Wallace scored 16, Tayshaun Prince had 11 and Rodney Stuckey was held to just eight points for the Pistons.
Detroit and Phoenix began the game with the same 27-21 record, reflecting the lackluster seasons both have had after being two of the NBA’s best teams in recent years
Even though the Pistons have gone from an Eastern Conference power to a middle-of-the-pack team since giving up Chauncey Billups for Iverson, they might end up sticking with their roster to free up $22 million in salary cap space to make moves over the next two summers.
Detroit was effective at times against the Suns, but usually was out of sync, as it often has been with Iverson.
The first quarter ended 29-29, the 12th tie of the game after three lead changes.
O’Neal took over in the second quarter, helping Phoenix outscore the Pistons 33-21 to create a cushion it needed to withstand an occasional run.
The Suns led 83-74 after three quarters and didn’t have trouble maintaining the lead.
Notes: Nash, who had 22 assists three years ago, fell one short of
matching the NBA high for the year. He Lenny Wilkins for 10th on the career assist list. … Phoenix coach Terry Porter, who was a Detroit assistant last season, left the court briefly during the first quarter because he was feeling ill. … The Suns swept the series against Detroit. … With his 38 points on Saturday, Hamilton moved past Hill and into seventh place in Pistons history.