Throwback Thursday: Amare Stoudemire dunks on Anthony Tolliver

Date: March 22, 2010

Place: Oracle Arena; Oakland, California

Set-up: It was a classic run ‘n gun affair between the two teams. The Phoenix Suns trailed the Golden State Warriors 122-119 with less than three minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Suns came into the contest winning four straight in what turned into an eventual 10-game winning streak but were in a struggle with the high-scoring Warriors.

The Dunk: The Warriors were on a four-on-three fast break when Stephen Curry pulled up for a three-point shot. The ball clanked off the rim and was on its way out of bounds before Monta Ellis raced down to save it, throwing out into the middle of the floor right to Jason Richardson of the Suns. After a couple dribbles up the court Richardson threw it down the court to Amare Stoudemire. “STAT” grabbed the ball with nothing in his way from a two-point dunk. Inexplicably, Anthony Tolliver came running in to attempt to block the eventual dunk attempt at the last second, just as Stoudemire was gaining steam towards the hoop.  Both players jumped at the same time as Stoudemire slammed it home on Tolliver in one of the greatest dunks in Suns history.

My proof for that statement? Just listen to Oracle Arena and watch the expressions of Tolliver’s teammates. When your guy gets dunked on, generally, you stay as expressionless as possible to ease the pain of your teammates embarrassment. That was just the opposite of what happened in Oakland. It was total astonishment for what the Warriors just witnessed. The Warriors bench just about fell out of their seats and in the background you see players nodding and smiling in approval of Stoudemire’s destruction on Tolliver — look at Corey Maggette’s face during the replays

Aftermath: The dunk was used to propel the Suns to their fifth straight win behind Stoudemire’s 37 points. This team gelled at the right time and made a run to the Western Conference Finals before falling to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games.

  • EBJM

    Great dunk no doubt but I love the fact that Tolliver was able to get back and not only challenge that shot but did so without hesitation and did it very cleanly.

    This particular play reminds me of when Andrew Bogut had a break-away dunk and Amare was trailing behind Bogut and pushed him from behind while Bogut was dunking the ball.

    Bogut had snuck out while Amare was shooting a long jumper and Amare couldn’t get back to contest Bogut’s dunk the way Tolliver did on Amare.

    Props to Tolliver for not being concerned about getting posterized!

  • Al

    This one is right up there with Blake Griffin dunking on Mozgov or last years DA Jordan stomping on Knight.

  • BCrayZ

    “Blur” is back (beep beep) & even in his short time playing this first game, had more assists than Gogi had in all of the prior game (loss) & even blocked a shot

    Frye & Barbosa & Gogi (reunited members of “that killer bench unit”) all gave forth exceptional energy & each were “plus” (+/-) in this game, even though it turned out to be only a 1-point game

    This paved the way, through inspirational example, for some of the younger guys, who may have been feeling sorry for their tired legs in the Suns’ 4th consecutive win in the back end game of a back to back & yet another (also 4th in a row) bounce back game, after a loss Suns fell way behind in the battle of the boards, as expected vs. the T-Wolves in last night’s game. Then, they stopped the carnage & exchanged rebounds with them until beginning to claw back. Thanks to a ream effort (led by PJ’s 10 boards), they ended the game dead even. What could help their rebounding issues even more would be to trade Omeka & the twins for a frustrated Love & sign Louis to an opened roster spot to further reunite (from the days of this video) “that killer bench unit.” Make it so Ryan.

    MUST reunite “that killer bench unit.” Let’s go SUNS!!!!

  • Todd

    I was at that game, court-side seats (amazing birthday present from my dad, I can see us in the replay behind the announcers in our grey/orange Suns shirts). That dunk was amazing, and the article captures the response of the Warriors fans. The dunk was so violent and the reaction so strong, we thought the rim was damaged. The Warriors fans next to me were giving each other fives and shouting. It was insane, especially considering that brought the game to within 1.

  • Zak

    I just read on the ESPN website the Bledsoe is out “indefinitely” because he needs knee surgery! It may be that was the real reason for signing LB to a 10-day contract. The Suns may need him much longer than 10 days if this is true.