Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 5/25/13
LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant might have found their names in the headlines more during this 2012-13 NBA season, but the league’s breakout star has been the Indiana Pacers’ Paul George. The third-year player has the hardware to prove it, too. George was named an NBA All-Star this season and won the NBA Most Improved Player award. The Pacers swingman was also named All-NBA Third Team and to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team. Miami Heat fans won’t be forgetting George’s name anytime soon after his performance Friday night. George blew by James and posterized Chris “Birdman” Anderson on a monster one-handed slam. George finished the night with 22 points on 9-for-16 shooting. He added two rebounds and six assists. During the playoffs, George is averaging 19.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Since being drafted No. 10 overall out of Fresno State, he’s been the steal of the 2010 draft that also produced John Wall, Evan Turner, Larry Sanders, Eric Bledsoe and Avery Bradley. George is the only player from his class to have made an All-Star game so far. The Pacers went on to win Game 2 97-93 after losing Game 1 103-102. The Pacers now have home-field advantage through the rest of the series. Games 3, 4 and 6 are all at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Check out George’s impressive slam in the video below. George even got daps from James as the third quarter was ending. Screenshot via Twitter/@BleacherReport Photo of the Day We call this one: Momentum. Tweet of the Day Even NFL writers appreciate Paul George. Sad thing about Paul George is how many people had no idea who he was until this week. The NBA is so much fun to watch.— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) May 25, 2013 Video of the Day Yeah, LeBron did some cool stuff during Game 2, too.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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