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Best Game Ever: Robin Lopez recalls a win over a rival filled with childhood buddies

Best Game Ever: Robin Lopez recalls a win over a rival filled with childhood buddies
Chicago Bulls center Robin Lopez drives against Cleveland Cavaliers center Ante Zizic during the first half Jan. 27 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) (Nam Y. Huh / AP)

Dan Woike asked NBA players to tell us about the best game in their basketball career. This week: Robin Lopez.

Dec. 3, 2005: San Joaquin Memorial 69, Clovis West 67

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14 points 11 rebounds, six blocks

Lopez, the NBA’s self-proclaimed Screech, went back to his “Saved By the Bell” days for his best game ever. The 7-foot center from Fresno remembered conquering a rival team filled with childhood friends:

“In the Central Valley, there's a big tournament — the Buchanan/Clovis West Tournament. Clovis West is one of the Central Valley powerhouses around Fresno. I went to middle school and elementary school against a lot of kids who grew up to play in the Clovis West system. I went to a private school. We went back and forth my first three years of high school. We had Quincy Pondexter on our team. Obviously my brother Brook on our team. And they always got the better of us. We were always the younger team. They always had seniors. We finally, my senior year … it was just a packed arena. They had to put chairs on the baselines and everything. At Clovis West. It was the championship game of the BCW and we finally beat them. I played OK … I remember after winning, I was rubbing it in so many of my friends' faces from middle and elementary school. I remember my buddy, Brook and I, we were playing Michael Jackson in the car on the way back to his house, and we had the trophy outside the window. And some girls drove by and they honked the horn and we would wave the trophy out the window. We were just being ridiculous and crazy.”

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