Steve Nash made his triumphant return to the hardwood last night as the Lakers pulled off a stunning comeback victory against the Golden State Warriors. Mike D’Antoni certainly wasn’t trying to ease Nash back into the rotation, as the 38-year-old point guard played 41 minutes in his first game action since Halloween.
Still, Nash wasn’t phased by the heavy minute load, which is a good sign for a guy coming off a fracture in his leg, which he explained to the Associated Press following the victory.
”To play 40 minutes after seven weeks was more than I could ask for,” Nash said. ”I felt in a decent rhythm. I feel positive about it. We’ll see (Sunday). I’ll have to keep working on it. I know it will be sore and painful but I’m used to that.”
Despite the increased minutes, Nash did play an effective role in the team’s victory on Saturday. He scored 12 points with nine assists and three rebounds in the contest, including a big jump shot late in the game that helped seal the victory for Los Angeles.
It’s safe to say the team is thrilled to have their point guard back.
”It’s easy. It’s very easy. It’s beyond easy,” Bryant said about playing with Nash, who had missed 24 consecutive games while recovering from a small fracture in his lower left leg.
Mike D’Antoni, who has been eagerly awaiting Nash’s return, probably more than anyone, was also thrilled to have his point guard back in action.
‘The guy is a winner,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said of Nash, who he also coached with the Suns. ”There was a difference before the game. He changes everything. He changes the whole perspective.”
The team will be back in action Christmas Day when they take on the New York Knicks at Staples Center, where they will be looking for their fifth consecutive victory.