Suns 108, Pistons 101

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) – Steve Nash had 35 points and 12 assists and Amare Stoudemire added a season-high 31 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 108-101 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.

Nash took advantage of point guard Chauncey Billups’ absence to help hand Detroit their third straight loss. Billups is expected to miss two weeks after straining a calf muscle at the end of Friday’s one-point loss to Indiana.

After the Pistons erased a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter, Nash hit consecutive jumpers to put Phoenix back ahead 95-91 with 4:10 to play.

The Pistons got within 101-99 on Carlos Delfino’s layup with 1:39 left, but he missed a potential go-ahead 3-pointer on the next possession, and Nash’s three-point play put the game away.

Raja Bell of the Suns was ejected when he was given his second technical of the game after a fourth-quarter bumping incident with Richard Hamilton. Hamilton, who scored 31 points for Detroit, also received a technical on the play.

Bell and Shawn Marion both had 15 points for Phoenix.

Flip Murray, getting more minutes in place of Billups, set season highs of 18 points and seven assists, but Rasheed Wallace scored just 10 points on 4-for-17 shooting, including going 0-for-7 from 3-point range.

AP-ES-12-31-06 1833EST

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