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May 23, 2010

Amar'e Stoudemire


Suns – 118
Lakers - 109

Q. Can you talk about the difference in the aggressiveness and the way you came out tonight, the focus and energy you showed?
AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE: Yeah, we came out with great intentions. We definitely wanted to start off strong, big game for us, very important game for us. So we knew that coming into the game, Game 3, and we had to get this one. So we played well.

Q. Talk about just doing that individually. You seemed from the beginning that you were the guy that was the aggressive one, setting the tone, a lot of drives to the basket.
AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE: Coach Alvin told me before the game he was going to come to me. Come to me a lot. And I was ready.
I was totally ready. Being aggressive. I wanted to pretty much attack the bigs a little bit and we got them in a little bit of foul trouble, which helped us. Got to the free-throw line. We were the aggressor right there and it showed.

Q. Amar'e, did the local criticism sting you over the last few days? Were you aware of it?
AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE: Say it again.

Q. Did the local criticism of you personally sting you over the past few days? Were you aware of it?
AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE: No, not at all. Just the fact that I wanted to win, how important this game was. That's what motivated myself and also my teammates. So with that being said, we couldn't afford to go down 3-0. We couldn't afford that. So we came out with a chip on our shoulder we played well.

Q. Did you agree with the local criticism?
AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE: Did I agree with them? Everybody's going to have their opinions. Everybody has the right to have their opinions. So I can't really comment on their opinions.
But from my standpoint, you can never question my determination, my focus, my dedication. Again, that's one of the reasons why I persevered through injuries and continue to try to improve every single summer. My dedication to the game is at an all-time high.
And tonight from a game standpoint we came out and played great on both ends and now we've got to win one more game.

Q. This has been a roller coaster season for you and the past week has been a microcosm of that. Does anything really surprise you anymore?
AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE: Hasn't been a roller coaster season for me, to be honest with you. Coming back from the eye injury this past summer, it's just been an uphill climb pretty much and just trying to get back in shape and get back into a rhythm.
And with that being said, we got off to a phenomenal start in the second half of the year. Then carried it over so far in the playoffs. So it's been tough this series, particularly playing the defending champs.
But I think tonight we showed great focus and confidence is high and we have a chance to win another game.

Q. (Question about stitches)?
AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE: No, no stitches. But I did get cut by my goggles, got hit across the forehead, got a nice slice there on the forehead.

Q. (Question off microphone)?
AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE: I think we did a great job in our zone defense. It's never easy playing zone against that triangle offense. It's always tough. It's very hard. You have to have great activity. You have to understand where the shooters are.
And tonight we had great activity from our starters and also the second unit. Did a great job on the board to find the guys and try to box them out again, putting those guys in foul trouble definitely helped us.

Q. As you get deeper into the playoffs, do you learn the importance of mental toughness? Is that something that you're learning as you go through this process?
AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE: Mental toughness is always a key. You gotta stay focused. You gotta be strong mentally, every game is a different story. So you gotta approach it as such. Some games you're going to have a great shooting night. Some games you're not. Some games you'll have a great defensive night. Some games you're not. You have to stay tough mentally.

Q. Seems outside of this city most people believe it was always talk about your mentality going to this game. You were talking yesterday you're still very confident that you guys could switch this around?
AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE: We can never lose our confidence. We can never not think we can't win. We played so great this season. We've done a phenomenal job this year so far so we know how good we can be. It's just a matter of us bringing that focus and playing great on both ends.

Q. When Alvin was in here he said Amar'e knew he didn't play well those two games in LA. Is that the way you felt personally?
AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE: I didn't. I felt that I played not bad. I could have did a little bit better job out there.
But that being said, we had a different game plan defensively and it was tough out there. Start off the series, it's always a different story.
So the first game Lamar Odom had a phenomenal rebounding night. The second game Gasol had a great offensive game. So every game is different.

Q. Could you talk about some of your moves to the hoop. Some of them are almost like Connie Hawkins-esque, reverse layups, swoops in? How did you feel about some of those moves? Did you surprise yourself with any of those?
AMAR'E STOUDEMIRE: No, I practice it all the time, to be honest with you. A lot of practice. But I think just trying to keep those guys off guard, just really trying to bring out a lot of different moves, because they scout you so well and they know what you do best. So if you can count on your go-to moves, then it's hard for them to guard you.
So tonight I wanted to be very, very versatile and try to catch them off guard with a few moves.

End of FastScripts

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