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May 23, 2010

Steve Nash


Suns – 118
Lakers - 109

Q. Steve, you guys started the way you did at Games 1 and 2, giving up 30 points, 58 percent shooting. What was the difference in that second quarter? Was it just the zone or just executing better or a combination?
STEVE NASH: Maybe we executed a little better. We were a little more aggressive. Got out and ran. But actually I think the offensive numbers were pretty similar to the first game in the first half. In the second game we shot -- we scored low 50s and shot 50 percent. Tonight I think we scored low 50s and shot even less than that.
So offensively we were probably the same or worse even than the first couple of games. Obviously the zone was big for us.

Q. Did you break your nose?
STEVE NASH: I don't think I broke it. I think I rearranged it. Obviously there's a dent and it's bent. I think I whacked the cartilage out of place but I tried to push it back into place so it's not as bent now but it's still nicely curved.

Q. (Question off microphone)?
STEVE NASH: No, I think I bumped -- Shannon Brown's head bumped into my nose.

Q. Are you guys still waiting? Do you feel like you have that big shooting night in you that we've seen before?
STEVE NASH: We haven't shot the ball great yet, have we? I think we've shot 50 percent, thereabouts. In the first two games we shot 50 percent, but nothing scintillating.
Tonight obviously we scored 118 and shot 46 percent. But again 5 of 20 from 3. So we know they're a good 3-point team defensively. But we're still capable of knocking some down. We missed some open ones.
So, you know, I don't know if it will come. If it does, it's nice, but if it doesn't we've got to find ways to match them. And tonight the zone helped, but I think our tenacity was important as well.

Q. Steve, the zone was effective. But talk about that tenacity. How much of tonight was just the way you guys competed, showing heart, being aggressive from the beginning?
STEVE NASH: To me, that's gotta be our calling card in this series. We can't make excuses about how big they are and the matchup problems and all that stuff. Those are just excuses. If they beat us, they beat us.
But we've got to fight tooth and nail for every inch and match them, find a way to match them. Tonight the zone helped. It gave us an opportunity to find some separation there for stretches. But it's gotta be toughness, because if we play the game like a normal game or play it on paper, you know, they'll probably beat us most nights.

Q. Is this the kind of game do you feel you basically turned that corner and you now compete this way?
STEVE NASH: Well, I never like to say that. I think each game is a new game. And we have to come out as though we have another huge challenge ahead of us. We have to come out as the underdog. We have to come out with a chip on our shoulder and play Game 4 like we did obviously in Game 3.

Q. Were there times out there tonight where you thought Amar'e just couldn't be stopped?
STEVE NASH: Well, had a pretty sensational performance. I'm just proud of him. He made some incredible plays. But he was just aggressive. And I think once he got a few free throws early and a few buckets, I think he really felt like, hey, I can keep attacking and all the frustration from the first two games where it was crowded in there a lot I think subsided.
So I'm just proud of him for playing so well. And he got to the line a lot. And he was obviously a force.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about the boost Robin gave you tonight?
STEVE NASH: Yeah, I mean, like I said to Al McCoy after the game, I believe that was Robin's second playoff game. So to be seven weeks off of a bulging disc and to score 20 points, I think, and play the way he did was phenomenal for us. They're a bigger team than we are. So it's really important that he plays to give us some size.
And obviously he gives us a lot of quality, too.

Q. You look like you're more comfortable this series passing the ball than shooting. I think you shot nine times the first half or whatever. And just only a few the second. Is it just taking what they give you?
STEVE NASH: Yeah, I mean, you know, sure I'd love to get 15, 20 shots up. But my job in this offense is to read the defense. That's really our offense is the pick-and-roll and I read the defense and try and make the defense pay for how they decide to play it.
So in this series they've done a good job of trying to limit my opportunities to shoot. But it's opened up things for my teammates. So different times in the series a lot of other people have benefited I think from them overplaying the pick-and-rolls. Sometimes with a third defender as well.
So I have a lot of faith in my teammates. And that's the way we play. So it's -- we don't really play a game where we can say, you know, Steve's not getting enough shots, let's go to offense B. That's just not the way we play.
So -- although I'll look and try to find more opportunities at the same time. If they're not there, there's a reason that I think I can still put pressure on the defense and create opportunities for other people on the team.

Q. Do you think when Robin and Fisher had that little incident maybe had -- something with Kobe out there? Were you glad there was a little more chippiness to this game that you guys had a little more of that --
STEVE NASH: I wouldn't say I was glad there was more chippiness. But I'm glad there's a lot of spirit in our team, a lot of fight.
Like I said earlier, I think that's all we have against these guys. I mean, that's gotta be there start to finish.

Q. Are you going to try to help Robin out at practice, sort of guide so he can avoid obstacles running down the court?
STEVE NASH: You know what? We leave Robin alone. We leave him alone.

End of FastScripts

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