With the two-time league MVP expected to return, the Suns have to like their chances of continuing their home dominance of the Philadelphia 76ers.
After missing a game for the first time this season to rest his sore lower back and abdomen, Nash will likely be back in the lineup Wednesday night to help the Suns attempt to beat the Sixers at home for the 20th time in 23 meetings.
Nash is having a typically strong season with 17.6 points and 11.2 assists per game, but the 36-year-old point guard struggled coming out of the All-Star break. Though he has averaged 12.8 assists in four second-half games, he has been held to 7.5 points per game and 31.6 percent shooting while playing through pain.
Rather than risk losing him for an extended period, the Suns (35-23) opted to rest Nash on Tuesday. Without him, they snapped Oklahoma City's nine-game winning streak with a 104-102 victory.
Phoenix fell behind by 10 with 5:03 left, but Jason Richardson capped the comeback with a floater with 0.7 left as the Suns won for the ninth time in 11 games and moved past the Thunder for fifth place in the Western Conference.
"It's our best win of the year, by far, I think. Especially playing without Steve," coach Alvin Gentry said. "To come in here and be able to beat this team without Steve, it's a heck of an accomplishment. It's a big plus for our guys."
Gentry gave much of the credit to Richardson, who finished with 20 points and a season-high 13 rebounds. Phoenix is 17-2 this season when the veteran shooting guard scores at least 20 points, and 15-2 when he shoots better than 50.0 percent from the field.
"You just go back and look at the numbers," Gentry said. "When he plays great, we very seldom ever lose."
Richardson has also averaged 26.8 points and shot 55.7 percent in his last five games against Philadelphia, and the Suns rarely lose when the Sixers are in town. Philadelphia has won only three times in 22 trips to Phoenix since 1986-87.
Though that's not encouraging for Eddie Jordan's club, the Sixers showed they can keep up with one of the league's highest-scoring teams in a 110-102 victory at Golden State on Tuesday night.
The Sixers led by as many as 24 points and held on for the win after getting routed 122-90 in Chicago in the opener of a four-game trip.
"We needed to keep our poise and we executed enough to win the game," Jordan said.
The Suns placed six players in double figures and shot 53.2 percent from the field in a 119-115 road win over the Sixers on Nov. 9. Nash had 21 points and a season-high 20 assists in that contest, the NBA's first 20-point, 20-assist performance since Nash did it against New York on Jan. 2, 2006. Richardson had 29 points and made six 3-pointers.
Nash has averaged 20.3 points and 9.8 assists while shooting 58.5 percent in four home games against the Sixers since signing with the Suns before the 2004-05 season.
Philadelphia swingman Andre Iguodala, who played his college ball at Arizona, had 24 points and nine rebounds while shooting 11 for 17 from the field in the November meeting with Phoenix. He's averaged 21.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists while shooting 52.7 percent in his last six games against the Suns.