Golden State Warriors rookie Harrison Barnes has dazzled the Bay Area faithful with a playoff performance that has all but extinguished any long-term projections after his solid (i.e., not spectacular) regular season.
In his first 10 postseason games, he matched his regular-season total of 20-point games (three) and missed that mark by a single point on two other occasions.
But San Antonio Spurs sophomore Kawhi Leonard reminded him that he's not the only young, athletic wing causing havoc in this Western Conference semifinal.
With San Antonio nursing a 62-58 lead midway through the third quarter of Game 5 on Wednesday night, Danny Green snagged a loose ball on the Warriors' end and raced down the floor. Carl Landry stepped in front of the charging Green, who quickly gathered himself with a pair of dribbles.
Then Green spotted a streaking Leonard racing down the right side of the floor and hit him in stride with a one-handed lead pass. Leonard grabbed the pass at the right elbow, cleared himself for departure with two steps and soared toward the basket.
Barnes was there to contest the dunk, but a ferocious finish from Leonard meant the rookie's only reward was a future poster appearance:
And Barnes just got put on a POSTER!— ESPN First Take (@ESPN_FirstTake) May 15, 2013
Barnes has the narrow lead in the individual scoring battle with Leonard, 19-14, but the Spurs have since opened up a commanding 13-point lead, 89-76, in the early stages of the fourth quarter.