Dan Woike asked NBA players to tell us about the best game in their basketball career. This week: Paul George.
May 24, 2013: Indiana 97, Miami 93
22 Points, 9-16 FGs, 6 ast
Sometimes a best game isn’t about a full 48 minutes. Maybe it’s a hot quarter, maybe it’s a game-winning shot at the buzzer.In George’s case, it’s about a soul-stealing slam dunk. In Game 2 of the 2013 Eastern Conference finals, George had the ball with the clock running down in the third quarter. With LeBron James standing in front of him, George, in his third year, blew past the Heat defense and got into the paint. He rose, got bodied by Chris “Birdman” Andersen and somehow continued to elevate before finishing with a violent one-handed slam.
“Throughout my career, I’ve been lucky to have so many big moments, big parts in big games. I would say it would have to be the game in Miami when I had the big dunk on Birdman. That’s probably the biggest, one of the best games of my career, just because of the impact. It was my arrival. The stage. And the matchup. Just that whole game was kind of iconic. And that dunk was probably the exclamation point. ... When it happened, you could hear the whole crowd, like the air got sucked out of the building. ... It was pandemonium from my bench, all my guys going crazy. But then, you could just sense the breath taken out of them on that dunk. The whole crowd, everybody was just in awe.”