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May 30, 2006

Steve Nash


Q. Steve, can you talk about the emotional lift Raja gave you guys coming out tonight?
STEVE NASH: It was great. Obviously it was a huge lift for us. You know, I think I talked about it yesterday and after that, our last loss, you know, how much we miss him. You know, not necessarily just for his talent and the depth he provides us, but his personality. His toughness.
You know, we got half our team is a bunch of quiet guys. He gives us another guy who opens his mouth once in a while and gives us some toughness and bravado, and I just can't say enough about how much his personality means to our team.
Q. It's been 42 games since Dirk was held to under 20 points. What did you guys do to keep under his skin tonight?
STEVE NASH: Well, we just decided before the game we were going to shut him out. (Laughter).
Q. Great plan.
STEVE NASH: We were just like, we'll keep him down and it will be easy. No, I mean, it was one of those games where he just didn't really get anything going. Obviously we were active and we did some things well, but, you know, it's also just one of those games.
And you can't ever really take full credit for shutting out a player like Dirk. And, you know, there's nights out there for all great players and we were lucky that tonight was one of those.
But we also did a good job being active. We also, you know -- we're really good in a lot of areas. So I thought that the last game, especially in particular in the second half, we were pretty flat, and didn't play with a lot of activity or a lot of energy.
And, you know, it was much different. We learned our lesson a little bit tonight.
Q. Steve, could you talk about the trickle-down effect of Raja -- you were able to play three guards, seemed to help Leandro as well?
STEVE NASH: I think it helps everyone. It gives us more talent. Gives us more depth. You know, but like I said, I mean, it obviously helps, but, you know, more than the obvious reasons to lose a starter, to lose one of your top three-point shooters, your top defender, just his personality, his will.
I mean -- his toughness, those are the kinds of things that transcend even what he does to the balance of our team and the rhythm of our team and everyone's role's going back intact. It's night and day, you know, what he means just intangibly rather than what he does tangibly.
Q. Steve, what was the difference for you guys in the end of the third quarter, beginning of the fourth quarter, to enable you to pull away?
STEVE NASH: I think we were tremendously active defensively. We made a lot of plays on the defensive end. You know, I think -- I don't know if I remember clearly, but I think we ran off an eight- or nine-point run, and I don't even think we even got down into the half court and called a play. We forced some turnovers and got some shots. And obviously when we can get in transition off turnovers, we're pretty tough.
But I don't know. It wasn't -- I don't think there's any magic formulas for us tonight. I think we just played harder.

End of FastScripts...

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