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Steve Nash optimistic despite feeling nerve issues 'almost every day'

Steve NashLos Angeles LakersPortland Trail BlazersMike D'Antoni

Steve Nash had his best game of the season Sunday night in the Lakers' 105-103 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

While he missed eight of 13 shots, Nash played a season-high 29 minutes and contributed 13 points along with six assists without a turnover.

Nash was hampered throughout the preseason by a variety of physical ailments including neck and ankle soreness.

"I'm still fighting things that happened because of the broken leg," Nash said after practice Monday.

Last season Nash suffered a leg fracture in the second game of the season against the Portland Trail Blazers. He sat out 32 regular-season games and wasn't healthy for the Lakers' first-round playoff series, in which they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs.

The injury played havoc with Nash's entire nervous system, leading to hip, hamstring and back issues.

"I still feel that almost every day, all over.  It's not just in that spot," he said.  "The whole system in a way is different now, it's just a little bit more sensitive."

To keep Nash fresh, Coach Mike D'Antoni plans to frequently sit the veteran guard for a game when the Lakers play on consecutive nights.

Despite shooting 29.2% from the field through three appearances this season, Nash remains "extremely optimistic" that he'll be a steady contributor.

"If last night's an indication, if I can get up another level or two, I can be pretty effective," Nash said.

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Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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