Outside of Stephen Curry's miraculous rise to stardom, perhaps no storyline has been as compelling during the 2013 NBA playoffs as the friendly rivalry between LeBron James and Paul George. With countless stars sidelined by injury, George has taken it upon himself to emerge in their absence.
Saturday night, it was more of the same, as George and James traded threes as only stars can.
As we've seen throughout the course of this season, George wasted no time in attacking the basket. Meeting him at the rim was none other than Chris Bosh, who faced the daunting task of preventing George from scoring.
The Indiana Pacers star decided to put him on a poster with a thunderous slam.
Mere seconds later, LeBron quieted Bankers Life Fieldhouse with a three-point field goal. If you think we're regurgitating a story that's already been told, you're right.
The same thing happened in Game 2, with Chris Andersen on the receiving end of the poster.
The LeBron 3 and that nasty Paul George dunk were separated by eight seconds, felt like two.— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) June 2, 2013
No hesitation, no signs of remorse.
The Pacers and Heat have been competitive on all fronts, but the story still returns to George refusing to back down from LeBron. From his clutch scoring to his fearless defense, George hasn't let the allure of the Eastern Conference Finals get the best of him.
Instead, he's solidified his star status.
Paul George with the dunk, LeBron James responds with the three. Love watching these two stars go at it.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 2, 2013
It's been a pleasure.
LeBron's three may have displayed the MVP's ice-cold veins, but the story of the opening quarter was George's slam. Not only did he throw it down with extraordinary ferocity, but George posterized an All-Star.
Here's a quick breakdown of the events:
Paul George: "I'm sorry for what's about to happen, Chris." Chris Bosh "Why? What's about to.... nooooooo" twitter.com/EyeOnBasketbal…— Eye on Basketball (@EyeOnBasketball) June 2, 2013
Don't worry, Bosh, you're not the first one this has happened to—and you won't be the last.
Not only were the analysts impressed, but current NBA players began to weigh in left and right. Again, the topic of conversation was George's jaw-dropping slam.
Portland Trail Blazers center J.J. Hickson offered his take:
OMG!!!!!! Stop it Paul George, just stop it lol....— JJ Hickson (@Hickson21) June 2, 2013
"Wow" doesn't do this dunk justice. Nor does it honor the clutch nature of LeBron's response.