Kapow. What more is there to say?
With a little less than five minutes remaining in the first quarter and the Heat leading 21-19, James used a screen from Mario Chalmers at the left angle to turn the corner on Derrick Williams and attack the paint. With Williams trailing the play and Isaiah Thomas retreating to defend Chalmers, James had a clear path to the basket and he didn't hesitate.
McLemore tried to rotate over to take a charge by standing tall, but it didn't matter as James was already into his thunderous, high-flying act, getting his head level with the rim. Meanwhile, James' thigh was connecting with McLemore's shoulder, sending the rookie to the ground, as he finished the one-handed dunk with authority. Despite some contact, no foul was called on the play, and McLemore's feet were on the restricted circle, anyway.
The Sun-Sentinel reported reaction from both players.
"It sucks that it's him," James said of the rookie out of Kansas, "because I like him. I knew I could get to the launching pad."
"I just went over there to try to take the charge," [McLemore] said. "He dunked the ball. Afterwards, I thought I should have just fouled him."
This qualifies as James' personal "Dunk of the Year" and it's worth another look (or three).
Here's the baseline view.
A baseline view of LeBron James dunking over Ben McLemore. (Issac Baldizon/Getty Images)
Here's a top-down look.
A top-down view of LeBron James dunking over Ben McLemore. (Sun Sports)
Finally, here's an animated GIF via Heat.com.
Heat forward LeBron James dunks on Kings guard Ben McLemore. (Heat.com)
James joins a growing “Dunk of the Year” conversation, which also includes poster dunks by Lakers guard Xavier Henry, Celtics forward Jeff Green, Nuggets forward J.J. Hickson, Magic guard Victor Oladipo and Pistons forward Josh Smith.