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Archive for Friday, May 11, 2007

Nash leads voting for All-NBA first team

May 11, 2007

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— Led by the Suns, the Western Conference grabbed all the limelight of the All-NBA team on Thursday.

Phoenix point guard Steve Nash was an unanimous selection to the team and was joined by Suns teammate Amare Stoudemire on a squad made up entirely of Western Conference players.

Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki, San Antonio forward Tim Duncan and Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, the league's leading scorer, rounded out the first team.

"It's a tough conference," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said.

Nash, the league's two-time defending MVP, received 129 first-place votes and 645 total points from the panel of 129 media members.

"You're playing with the best players in the world, and to be mentioned in the top group is something I'm very proud of," the point guard said.

Nash and Stoudemire are the first teammates to make the first team since Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal in 2003-04.

Stoudemire's selection caps an impressive comeback after two knee operations limited him to three games in 2005-06. The center averaged 20.4 points and a career-best 9.6 rebounds for the Pacific Division champions.

Nash led the NBA in assists during the regular season with a career-high 11.6 per game. He became the first NBA player to average at least 18 points (18.6) and 11 assists since Magic Johnson in 1990-91.

Former teammate Nowitzki, also making his third straight first-team appearance, led the Mavericks to an NBA-best 67-15 record. But he struggled in the playoffs, and the Mavericks became the third No. 1 seed to lose in the first round since the playoffs expanded to 16 teams and the first since the opening round became a best-of-seven in 2003.

It was Duncan's ninth first-team selection, most of any active player.

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