Canadian guard Nash returns to Lakers’ lineup


Steve Nash #10 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on from the sideline during the game wtih the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center on October 30, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. AFP FILE PHOTO

OAKLAND, California – Steve Nash, who missed 24 games after suffered a small fracture in his lower left leg, returned to the lineup for the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday for the NBA team’s game at Golden State.

The 38-year-old Canadian guard, who was born in South Africa, suffered the non-displaced break in his fibula on October 31 in the second quarter of a loss at Portland in a collision with Trail Blazers rookie Damian Lillard.

Nash, a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player in his 17th league season, joined the Lakers last June from Phoenix in a three-year sign-and-trade deal worth $27 million. Nash was averaging 4.5 points and 4.0 assists before the injury.

The Lakers sputtered to a 12-14 start without Nash, who is a key ball distributor for fellow stars Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol.

During the Lakers’ poor start, they fired coach Mike Brown and replaced him with Mike D’Antoni, who was the coach at Phoenix when Nash played there during his Most Valuable Player campaigns in 2004-2005 and 2005-2006.

“He looks good on the floor,” D’Antoni said. “He said he felt good.”

Chris Duhon and Darius Morris have replaced Nash at point guards and together are averaging less than six points and four assists a game. Nash has career averages of 14.4 points and 8.6 assists a game.

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