Suns hold off Hornets, 105-100

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Steve Nash had 24 points and 13 assists, and the Phoenix Suns survived a late New Orleans rally to take a 105-100 victory over the Hornets on Wednesday night.

The win was not enough though because the Dallas Mavericks knocked off Utah last night to clinch the final playoff spot in the Western Conference knocking the Suns out of playoff contention. It's the first time Phoenix will miss the post-season since 2004.

Shaquille O'Neal had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Nash made six free throws in the final 42 seconds to give the Suns the cushion they needed to hold on.

Chris Paul had 29 points and 16 assists, and David West had 28 points and 12 rebounds for New Orleans, which trailed by 14 early in the fourth quarter but got as close as 100-97 on Peja Stojakovic's 3-pointer with 26 seconds to go.