Notes from Tuesday's games in the National Basketball Association ...
• This Too Shall Pass. If basketball statistics are the Manning family, then the assist would be Cooper; just kind of there in the background, rooting for the others. But though often overlooked, the assist is still important, as demonstrated on Tuesday when Steve Nash distributed the wealth in unprecedented fashion. Nash finished with an NBA season-high 20 assists, leading the Suns over the Kings 127-102. Nash came within two assists of a career high, set in the Suns' 140-133 loss to the New York Knicks on Jan. 2, 2006. After opening the season 1-5, the Suns have won nine of 10.
• Big D Regains The W. The Mavericks are back, so nobody panic. After its winning streak ended at 12 games on Monday, Dirk Nowitzki scored 26 points and Josh Howard had 23 to pace Dallas past New Jersey, 92-75. "We were really embarrassed,'' said coach Avery Johnson of Monday's loss to the Wizards. "The plane was quiet, the bus was quiet. Usually some guys are playing games, but there were no games being played." Well sure, it was the Wizards. You're lucky there were no suicides.
• Call Him Robocop. Former Michigan State standout Zach Randolph came back to torch his old neighborhhood, scoring 31 points and grabbing 13 rebounds to lead the Trail Blazers over the Pistons, 88-85. Randolph had a career-high 37 points in his last trip to Detroit, a 93-89 loss on Dec. 20, 2005.
• Branded. Even though the judge decreed that we split our property, you can have it all. Everything, that is, but my Elton Brand bobblehead. And this thermos. Brand had 33 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Clippers over the Heat 101-97 on Tuesday. And that's all I need. My Elton Brand bobblehead, my thermos, and this chair.
• The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit. Ray Allen road the bench in street clothes with a sore foot, but Rashard Lewis picked up the slack with 29 points to lead Seattle over Atlanta 102-87. The names of Sonics players Chris Wilcox, Damien Wilkins and Earl Watson were also heard over the public address system, perhaps for the first time ever.