The Phoenix Suns bid a potential farewell to Steve Nash on Wednesday, but couldn't do it in winning fashion, instead falling to the Western Conference-leading Spurs, 110-106.
Nash, who is set to become a free agent, won two NBA MVP awards and was selected to six All-Star teams as a member of the Suns. He played a little over 17 minutes on Wednesday, finishing with eight points and seven assists.
"I'm going to have to sit down and consider my options," said Nash. "But I'm in no rush. I think it's important to take my time and just gain some perspective on what has happened in my career and what the future might hold."
Patty Mills scored 27 points to pace the Spurs, winners of nine straight. They have already locked up the top spot in the Western Conference and are tied with Chicago for the league's No. 1 overall seed. The Bulls close their season against Cleveland on Thursday while San Antonio takes on Golden State.
"It's a small opportunity and I'm making the most of it," said Mills of his increased playing time.
Shannon Brown had a team-high 21 points for Phoenix, which missed the playoffs and closed its season with three straight losses to finish at 33-33.
The Suns were down 97-96 with 3:57 remaining when Nash re-entered the game to a standing ovation. He immediately committed a turnover which led to a Tiago Splitter transition dunk then was replaced by Sebastian Telfair, ending the curtain call.
But the Spurs continued to roll, getting a corner three from Cory Joseph and a free throw from Patrick Mills, which capped a 13-0 run and made it 103-96.
Telfair cut Phoenix's deficit to 108-106 with a three-point play in the final minute. Joseph then missed a three-pointer, but Telfair's trey fell short on the other end and Mills made a pair of free throws to seal San Antonio's win.
The game was tight throughout. The first half featured eight ties and six lead changes and the Spurs led 58-53 at the break. Nash scored all eight of his points in the third and the game was tied at 82 entering the fourth.
Mills' 27 points were a career-high...Splitter finished with 26, also a career-high...The Spurs played without regular starters Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili and were without head coach Gregg Popovich due to personal reasons.