April 8, 2009
NBA: Phoenix 105, New Orleans 100
Steve Nash scored 24 points Wednesday in carrying Phoenix past New Orleans 105-100 on a night the Suns saw their playoff hopes come to an end.
Phoenix was officially eliminated from the playoff chase when Dallas overwhelmed Utah 130-101.
Shaquille O'Neal contributed 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Suns, who will miss the playoffs for only the third time in 21 seasons. They last failed to be a part of the post-season action in 2004.
New Orleans had defeated Phoenix six straight times, but the Hornets allowed the Suns to shoot 51 percent from the field.
The Hornets remained in sixth place in the Western Conference, a game in front of both Utah and Dallas. New Orleans is two games behind Houston and San Antonio, who are tied atop the Southwest Division.
Chris Paul led New Orleans with 29 points and 16 assists. David West had 28 points and 12 rebounds.