By Ben Golliver
Please alert the "Dunk of the Year" voters, we have a candidate.
With Minnesota leading 41-38, Golden State guard Klay Thompson fed forward David Lee in the post. Minnesota's team defense, including forward Andrei Kirilenko, swarmed Lee, opening space in the lane. Sensing the opportunity, Barnes cut down the middle of the key and receive a pretty bounce pass from Lee. Without using a gather dribble, the six-foot-eight Barnes simply launched up and over the outstretched arms of the six-foot-11 Pekovic, finishing the play with a strong one-hand finish. The Warriors bench, predictably, went nuts, bouncing up and down giddily as Barnes stared down Pekovic.
Barnes, 20, is averaging 10.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in 27.1 minutes for coach Mark Jackson this season, his first after spending two years at the University of North Carolina.
We can forgive Kirilenko if he's feeling a little bit of a déjà vu watching this play unfold. Who could forget Baron Davis' posterization of the Russian forward during the 2007 playoffs? Same building, same result. Check out that dunk for old time's sake below.