As Kobe Bryant plays out his 20th and final season with the Lakers, The Times has reached out to players, coaches and broadcasters for recollections about his career.
Amar’e Stoudemire, a 15-year pro and six-time All Star now with the Miami Heat, played eight seasons with the Phoenix Suns and faced Bryant twice in the NBA playoffs. (Stoudemire was sidelined for a third Lakers vs. Suns playoff series).
It was 2010, Game 5 of the Western Conference finals in Los Angeles. The Lakers and Suns were even in the series, two wins each.
“He just could not miss a shot,” Stoudemire said. “We sent double-teams at him, we sent triple-teams at him and normally he would pass out of it, but he was just on fire that night and he scored every time.”
Bryant made 12 of 27 shots and finished with 30 points in a 103-101 victory. He also grabbed 11 rebounds and dished nine assists.
Stoudemire scored 19 points.
The Lakers won the series in six games and went on to defeat the Celtics in the NBA Finals.
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