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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash will not play against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.
Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said about 90 minutes before tip-off that the team decided to rest Nash after playing the Clippers on Tuesday night. D'Antoni said the plan is to rest Nash on some, if not most, back-to-back games this season to keep the 39-year-old point guard fresh.
"He wants to play but he also understands that he needs to be cautious and he understands it's the best way to go," D'Antoni said. "Now, we can evaluate that after a couple games or whatever and we'll see how it goes, or how he feels in December, but this early we just think this is the best for him right now and the team."
The Lakers play 19 sets of back-to-backs this season. Jodie Meeks will start in Nash's place against the Warriors. The Lakers beat the Clippers 116-103 in the season opener on Tuesday night with Nash chipping in three points, five assists and three turnovers in 21 minutes.
Meeks was informed of his starting role Wednesday morning, but D'Antoni said the decision to rest Nash against Golden State came a long time ago.
"We've been talking about it for months," D'Antoni said. "How we're going to approach the year, where he is. [Tuesday] was kind of odd. Normally [the starters] would have finished the game. He would have probably had about 30 minutes then. So we had that notion going into [the season]."
D'Antoni said Nash will dress and be available to play if the circumstances of the game -- i.e. injury or foul trouble -- warrant it.
"It just gives more opportunity for [Jordan] Farmar and Steve Blake, but you just hate to lose [Nash]," D'Antoni said. "You hate this but he's at the stage of his career that we got to be cautious and we need to move it along slowly and make sure as we go forward he's ready to go all year. We don't want any setbacks early so we're just being overly cautious."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.