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Lakers’ Xavier Henry enters Dunk of the Year conversation by banging on Pelicans’ Jeff Withey (Video)

Dan Devine
Ball Don't Lie

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Flight No. 7, in progress. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)

Hey, J.J. Hickson-on-Marvin Williams? Hope you enjoyed your reign atop the 2013-14 NBA season's Dunk of the Year rankings, because it may have ended after just one day.

Check out the evil that Los Angeles Lakers swingman Xavier Henry did to New Orleans Pelicans rookie center Jeff Withey during the third quarter of the two teams' matchup at Staples Center on Tuesday:


With the shot-clock winding down and the Lakers looking to get a shot off, L.A. forward Shawne Williams swung the ball from the left corner to Henry on the wing. Henry pump-faked past a reckless closeout by Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday, then saw New Orleans big man Lou Amundson run across the foul line toward the right elbow to keep an eye on an open Jordan Farmar, leaving all sorts of space for a drive. Henry headed straight for the rim and took flight from a step inside the dotted line; Withey jumped out of the restricted area and planted his feet to try to take the charge rather than attempting to contest the shot in the air.

That did not work out well for him. At all.

He even got smacked in the face for his troubles; this is the worst for young Mr. Withey, who was pressed into action after top backup Greg Stiemsma suffered a sprained left knee. ("I'm not even supposed to BE here today.")

Lest we forget, this isn't Henry's first highlight-reel hammer in forum blue and gold — he also had one in an impressive Opening Night performance against the Los Angeles Clippers:

The lefty cock-back-and-crush looks remarkably similar, but the difference here is that Clipper guard Chris Paul knows well enough to get the hell out of the way. Withey, clearly, did not. Rookies, man.

The Jayhawk-on-Jayhawk crime accounted for two of Henry's 15 points (on 6 for 8 shooting), making him one of five Lakers in double figures in a 116-95 victory over the Pelicans. Jordan Hill led the way with 21 points and 11 rebounds, Chris Kaman added eight points, nine boards and six assists off the bench, and no Laker played more than 27 1/2 minutes in the breezy win.

Withey, for his part, finished with nine points, five rebounds, one block and one unceremonious baptism. Still, the credit goes to the man in the arena. Better luck next time, rook.

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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