By Ben Golliver
The "Dunk of the Year" competition just got another great entry.
Bobcats guard Gerald Henderson threw down a spectacular slam over Lakers center Dwight Howard during the fourth quarter of a Tuesday night game at the Staples Center.
The play started innocently enough, when Ramon Sessions missed a driving lay-up with the Lakers leading 92-86 with just under eight minutes remaining in regulation. Bismack Biyombo snared the offensive rebound and Henderson, sensing space open in the paint behind the rebounding scrum, cut hard to the middle of the court. Biyombo hit him with a bounce pass and Henderson did the rest, elevating high off the bounce before absorbing a shove from Howard, which somehow propelled him even higher. Even as the ball slipped out of his hand, he was able to complete the dunk, in part because he was so high off the court. The dunk was so impressive that Lakers forward Antawn Jamison even stood up from the bench in wonder as it unfolded.
The Lakers held on for a 101-100 nailbiter. Henderson finished with 19 points, nine rebounds and four assists on six-for-16 shooting and he missed a point-blank lay-up in the game's closing seconds that could have proven to be the game-winner. Kemba Walker led the way for the Bobcats with 28 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Kobe Bryant finished with a game-high 30 points, seven assists and six rebounds to lead the Lakers. Howard finished with 16 points and a team-high 18 rebounds.
Other "Dunk of the Year" candidates: Harrison Barnes on Nikola Pekovic, Byron Mullens on LaMarcus Aldridge and Jeff Green on Al Jefferson.
See an animated version of Henderson's pogo-sticking below.
Here's an animated GIF version.