Steve Nash had 20 points and 16 assists and the Phoenix Suns won for the eighth time in 10 games, leading from the opening basket Thursday night in a 112-99 victory.
“We thought we could run with them,” the Warriors’ Baron Davis said, “but they showed that we couldn’t.”
All five starters scored in double figures for Phoenix. The Suns shot 52 percent from the field and 13-for-25 from 3-point range. Raja Bell had 17 points, Kurt Thomas 15 points and 16 rebounds and Eddie House 15 points.
“When we’re flying and everybody’s contributing, that’s when we’re at our best,” Bell said.
Nash, who had a career-high 22 assists in a triple-overtime loss in New York 10 days ago, earned his ninth double-double in the last 10 games. Even minus injured Amare Stoudemire, out for at least another month, the Suns lead the Pacific Division by 3 1/2 games.
“This is a chance to get a little bit of separation if we play well. We blew one in Denver but tonight was a good one and we’ve got a few coming up here,” Nash said.
Golden State has lost four in a row and nine of 12. At 17-18, the Warriors fell under .500 for the first time this season.
Davis scored 22 for the Warriors, who had six in double figures. Mike Dunleavy added 15 points. Ike Diogu, in his first game in Phoenix since leaving Arizona State for the NBA, scored 13. Jason Richardson had 12 on 5-for-14 shooting. Golden State shot 38 percent.
“It’s pretty obvious to me our confidence is shot a little bit and we’re just going to have to work our way through it,” Warriors coach Mike Montgomery said. “We’ve got guys who are missing shots they can make.”
The Suns scored the first nine points of the game and were up by as many as 22 in the second half.
“One of the big things we wanted to do was get out there early and jump on them, especially knowing that they played last night,” Thomas said.
Nash had 15 points and 13 assists in the first half, when the Suns shot 56 percent and led 64-54.
Phoenix outscored Golden State 14-5 to start the second half, taking a 78-59 lead on Diaw’s 7-foot hook shot with 6:49 left in the third quarter. Diaw’s 17-footer with 1:27 to play made it 90-70.
Consecutive 3-pointers by Davis cut the lead to 99-85 with 5:58 to play, and Suns coach Mike D’Antoni put Marion and Nash back in the game to close it out.
Phoenix was coming off a triple-overtime loss at Denver on Tuesday night.
“Our guys don’t feel like they’re tired right now,” D’Antoni said. “I don’t know what the deal is.”
The Warriors took 102 shots, 17 more than the Suns, and made 39. … Davis met with USA Basketball chief Jerry Colangelo on Thursday and said he was interested in making the three-year commitment to be part of the 2008 Olympic team. Colangelo chose not to meet with Richardson. … Richardson, guarded mostly by Marion, missed his first four shots and didn’t get his first field goal until making a layup with 37.7 seconds left in the half. … Suns guard Leandro Barbosa, out since Dec. 10 with a left knee sprain, said he expects to return for Saturday’s game against Cleveland.