Amid Los Angeles Lakers’ Lost Season, Steve Nash Finds Reasons to Survive

"Survive the day."

That, according to Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding, has been Steve Nash's mantra throughout this most trying of seasons for the future Hall of Famer. It's one well suited to Nash's struggle to play the game he loves, despite the most diligent efforts of Father Time and Mother Nature to the contrary. 

Nash has, indeed, survived, through tibial fractures and nerve root irritation, in addition to the myriad other maladies that come with being ancient in basketball years. If nothing else, he survived long enough to do something that very few NBA pros ever do: play on his 40th birthday.

And not just play, but shine. Not just survive, but thrive—to the tune of a team-high 19 points (on 8-of-15 shooting), four rebounds, five assists and just two turnovers in 28 minutes amid the Los Angeles Lakers' 112-98 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Nash's scoring exploits put him on par with just one other player in league history:

The calculating Canadian looked comfortable on the court, just as he did during his return in L.A.'s loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier in the week. His shot looked relatively sharp, as his patented step-back jumpers would attest. He moved around the floor without incident and even leapt into the paint to challenge a shot by Sixers rookie Michael Carter-Williams in the third quarter.

But Nash has always been known best for his wizardry with the ball. To that end, the NBA's eldest statesman didn't disappoint. He found his anonymous teammates with ease, most notably whipping a behind-the-back bounce pass to Wesley Johnson for a corner three in the third.

Nash was even responsible for the highlight of the night, when he juked Evan Turner out of his shoes with a crafty crossover before finishing with a scoop at the hoop.

Not surprisingly,...

About the Author