HOUSTON — Steve Nash further cemented his standing as one of the best point guards of all time on Tuesday night.
The Victoria native earned his 10,000th career assist in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 125-112 loss to the Houston Rockets.
Nash found Antawn Jamison on a pick-and-roll with seconds left in the first half to reach the milestone.
He’s only the fifth player to hit the mark, joining John Stockton, Jason Kidd, Mark Jackson and Magic Johnson.
Nash now has a total of 10,005 assists over his 17-year NBA career.
But that’s about as good as the news got for the Lakers.
“It’s really hard to enjoy it right now,” Nash said of the assists. “I don’t want to discredit it, or not appreciate the company I share in this milestone, but right now it’s the farthest thing from my mind. We’re just trying to find a way to win one game.”
The Lakers, who lost their fourth straight to fall to 15-19, are in 11th place in the Western Conference.
Sure, they are short-handed. But a team with Kobe Bryant, Nash and Metta World Peace should still play better than this.
James Harden scored 31 points and Chandler Parsons added 20 to help the Houston Rockets pick up their fifth straight win.
Houston trailed by as many as 14 in the first half, but used a pair of runs in the third quarter to go on top and build a big lead.
World Peace had a season-high 24 points for the Lakers, who were playing without their top three big men: Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill — who are all out with injuries.
Bryant added 20 points for the Lakers and Nash had 16 points and 10 assists
“I thought we had the better team,” World Peace said. “We definitely had the better team, but every night we have the better team and it’s just not translating to wins.”
The Rockets have rallied from double-digit deficits for their last three wins. As usual, they did it on Tuesday night behind the strong play of Harden, who has scored at least 25 points in 13 straight games.
“They were short-handed tonight, but they are still tough,” Harden said of the Lakers. “We knew we couldn’t take them lightly. They did a great job in the first half of really getting easy shots on us. In the second half we started to pick it up defensively. We got out in transition and made some easy shots.”
Howard has a torn labrum in his right shoulder, Gasol has a concussion and Hill a right hip injury. All three are out indefinitely. Seven-foot rookie centre Robert Sacre of Vancouver made his first career start due to the injuries, and finished with 10 points, four blocked shots and three rebounds.
“We’ve just got to move forward,” World Peace said. “We don’t have time to feel bad for anyone. This team just has to push and move forward.”
Jeremy Lin chipped in 19 points with six rebounds and five assists for Houston. — With files from CP
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