Notes on Sunday's games in the National Basketball Association ...
• A Win To Impress Even Mr. Hand. It's not like we have to tell you that only three players have ever won the Maurice Podoloff Trophy three years in a row. Could Steve Nash be the fourth? If he insists on taking another photo like the one here, we hope not. (Dude, all Steve needs is some tasty waves and a cool buzz, and he's fine.) Nash wasn't the leading scorer on Sunday against the Mavericks — Leandro Barbosa got that honor with 29 — but his 23 points and 11 assists helped lead the Suns to a 126-104 win. Game over in the West? The Suns shot 65 percent from the floor (46-of-71), the best in the NBA this season. Josh Howard scored 28 for Dallas, and Dirk Nowitzki scored 21. The Mavericks are still going to get the No. 1 seed, by the way, so we'll see what happens.
• Farmar's Long Day. From the D-Fenders to the Lakers in six hours? Jordan Farmar became the first player ever to play both in the D-League and the NBA on the same day, when he was called up by LA on Sunday night after having played a game for the Lakers' developmental league affiliate that afternoon. Of course the D-League has only been around for two seasons, and Farmar did play his afternoon game in the same building, so it wasn't that big a deal, we suppose. But he did get an up-close look at the new, generous Kobe Bryant, who had a season-high 13 assists and 19 points in the Lakers' 126-103 win over Sacramento. Bryant took 14 shots and made six. Farmar got into the game in the fourth quarter and had four points in seven minutes. He had scored 18 points, with six assists and three steals in 41 minutes in the D-Fenders' 109-101 loss to the Anaheim Arsenal on the same court.
• Rocket To Nowhere. That's it, we're not picking the Rockets in our NBA Playoffs pool. Too inconsistent; Houston led 77-70 late in the fourth quarter, but a three-point play by Matt Harpring gave Utah an 82-81 lead with 1:35 left, the Jazz winning 86-83. Mehmet Okur scored 20 points for Utah, which likely will play the Rockets in the first round of the playoffs.
• Rip To The Rescue. Richard Hamilton's return helped the Pistons, but the Heat will have to wait for their star to get back into the lineup. Hamilton, who missed four games with a concussion and the flu, scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half to lead Detroit over Miami 94-88. The Heat, meanwhile, said that Dwyane Wade should be back at practice by today.