Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers celebrates with teammates Steve Nash #10 and Darius Morris #1 in the final seconds of overtime after they secured their victory over the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on December 22, 2012 in Oakland, California.
Steve Nash just finished putting on a point guard clinic in the Lakers' 118-115 win over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night. In his long-awaited return, Nash was everything the Lakers needed on the offensive end of the floor.
To start the game, Nash played 17 minutes, shot 3-3 for 9 points, passed four assists, and had no turnovers in the first half. He started the game by putting together a highlight reel to remind fans of what he can do with this team.
For his first trick, Nash made a 26-foot three-point jump shot with his first shot in nearly two months. Nash shoots the best percentage on three point field goals in the history of the National Basketball Association for players with 1,000 or more makes. On the night, Nash was 2-2 from distance.
For his second act, Nash ran a pick-and-roll perfectly with Pau Gasol. Gasol set the pick, and Nash dropped a running floater when the defense failed to commit to the Canadian. It all looked so simple, but it felt so foreign. The Lakers finally had a real point guard.
For his third act, Nash ran a pick-and-roll with Pau Gasol again. This time, both defenders latched onto Nash, and the Canadian threw a lob to the Spaniard for an easy bucket. Dwight Howard was off the floor with foul trouble at the time, but even with Howard on the floor, a Nash and Gasol pick-and-roll should be a staple of every healthy Lakers’ diet. Howard should sit on the weak side and wait for easy lobs when the defense rotates.
Nash finished with 12 points, nine assists, and two steals on Saturday night, but his contribution was far more meaningful than those mere statistics.
For his final act against the Warriors, Nash took a one-point game in overtime and crushed the Warriors hopes of winning. With 16.9 seconds on the clock, he hit a fade-away jump shot from the free throw line to put the Lakers up by three points—clutch.
From that point forward, the Warriors could only tie the game with a three-point shot. They didn’t. The Lakers won.
Steve Nash was the hero as the Lakers came back from 14 points down to win a thriller on the road against a good team in overtime. On Saturday night, Lakers fans got a point guard, a win on the road, and a win against a team with a winning record.
Christmas came early for the Lakers. Steve Nash is back!