LeBron James is on a rampage. Just three days after destroying Ben McLemore with a dunk that also melted Chris Andersen's brain, James sent Paul Milsap to the grave with a ferocious slam late in the fourth quarter of last night's Hawks-Heat game.
Not only was this dunk absurd—please note how James's left foot is planted outside of the paint as he begins his flight toward the rim—it came at the crisis point of the game. The Heat were down by seven with 1:30 left to play when LeBron took over, draining two pull-up three-pointers from 27 feet out to cut the lead to one. After watching Lou Williams hit two free throws, LeBron came back down the floor and thunder-dunked all over poor Paul Milsap.
But the Heat were still down by one (It's funny, if you watch the replay of the dunk you can see LeBron transition from "I just ate Paul Milsap's soul! Time to mean mug!" mode to "Oh shit I better play defense mode" in about half a second), and LeBron wasn't yet finished single-handedly eviscerating the Hawks.
On the next Heat possession, now down three, LeBron made a drive to his right that was identical to the one that led to his dunk on the previous possession, but this time he kicked the ball out to the corner, where Ray Allen had just sprinted to after being sprung free by a Mario Chalmers back screen. Allen was fouled on the shot, and his three free throws sent the game to overtime. How the hell did Allen get so open? Well, that was all LeBron, too.
From ESPN's Daily Dime:
"I was just able to turn the corner the previous play to get the dunk," James said. "I felt like they would pay some attention to me, if not all attention to me if I drove again. I had Ray sprint up the floor from the weak side, and when I drove I had [Mario Chalmers] set a back screen for him to the corner. He had a great look. I thought it was going in.
"Spo was drawing up something we've worked on. I just had a different vision in my head. He let me roll with it."
So that's two stone-cold threes, one masterpiece dunk, and one brilliantly designed play that was the final flourish in an impressive Heat comeback. Not a bad 1:30 in the life of LeBron James.