Devin Booker has a tattoo on his forearm of the message that Kobe Bryant wrote for him on a pair of shoes after they faced each other at Staples Center six years ago: "Be legendary."
Back in the house his idol built, Booker put on a performance worthy of the Black Mamba's legend as his Phoenix Suns eliminated defending NBA champions Los Angeles Lakers with a 113-100 road victory in Game 6 of their western conference first-round series.
Booker scored 22 of his 47 points in a phenomenal first quarter on Thursday night, and the Suns won their first playoff series since 2010, setting up a second- round clash with the Denver Nuggets.
Jae Crowder added 18 points for the second-seeded Suns, who won three consecutive games to send LeBron James to a first-round series loss for the first time in his 18-year NBA career.
After hitting eight 3-pointers, grabbing 11 rebounds and going a stunning 15 for 22 from the field, Booker cast his eyes up at Bryant's two retired numbers as he left the floor.
"Honestly, I was thinking about Kobe and the conversations we had," Booker said. "About what we went through, and the postseason, and being legendary and taking the steps to get there.
"I know he was here tonight, and I know he was proud."
James had been 14-0 in first-round series during his career, which includes four championships. Only Lakers greats Derek Fisher and Robert Horry ever had more first-round perfection in NBA history, with both going 16-0.
Chris Paul had eight points and 12 assists for the Suns, who jumped to a huge early advantage in the opening minutes.
Eight-time All-Star Anthony Davis returned to the Lakers' starting lineup after missing the second half of Game 4 and all of Game 5 with a groin injury, but he played less than 5 1/2 minutes before it sidelined him again.
Although the Suns lost much of their early 29-point lead, they patiently held off the Lakers and James, who had 29 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
Even with a healthy Davis, the Lakers would have hard-pressed to keep up on Booker's evening of brilliance.
Booker hit all six of his 3-point attempts and went 8 for 9 overall while the Suns took a 36-14 lead after one quarter.
The six-year veteran showed none of the shakiness from earlier in the series against the Lakers, shredding the NBA's best defensive team with his silky-smooth jumper and heady penetration.
Earlier Denver marched through to the next round with a 126-115 win over Portland, ending their host's season.
Nikola Jokic finished with 36 points, eight rebounds and six assists to lead the Nuggets to the Western Conference playoff series-clinching win in Game 6.
The visitors rallied from a 14-point second-half deficit to win the series 4-2, advancing to the second round for the third consecutive season.
Damian Lillard led Portland with 28 points and 13 assists, but he couldn't follow up his epic shooting performance in Game 5, shooting only 3-for-11 from 3-point range on Thursday.