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Lance and LeBron: A love story...for fans

The Pacers beat the Cavs in Game 1, but when Lance Stephenson distracts LeBron James, everybody wins.

NBA: Playoffs-Indiana Pacers at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James is the best player in the world, the self-proclaimed King, always trying to stay above the fray when matched up with Lance Stephenson.

Lance Stephenson answers to Born Ready and believes he is every bit as good as LeBron regardless of how much evidence refuting that mind set is laid before him.

Like the honey badger, Lance don’t care.

LeBron tries not to care but always ends up trying his best to shut up Lance and that’s when the fun starts.

Both LeBron and Lance like to initiate contact with the other

Both LeBron and Lance like to flop, flail and feign life-threatening injury when absorbing contact from the other.

The game within the game that is Lance guarding LeBron and vice versa is a continual exercise in, “Oh, this!” The heated action never fails to escalate to a point where a line is crossed, normally by Lance, and Nate McMillan pulls the plug.

But for those few minutes each half, the interaction is unpredictable and often magical.

Game 1 delivered everything we love about Lance and LeBron after Lance efficiently found his way under LeBron’s skin early in the game. In fact, the ‘King’ stepped down from his throne to actually trash-talk Stephenson, something he rarely does. James prefers appearing to ignore the madness while Lance keeps a running monologue going in James’ ear. But LeBron couldn’t help himself in Game 1.

Sorry, but LeBron chirping back reveals a mission accomplished for Lance in fully distracting LBJ. As does this humorous look from LeBron.

The LeBron-Lance saga continues

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But, of course, Lance delivered the signature play of the game — a two-second game recap, if you will — by dunking all over the Cavs. With LeBron on his hip, that was his only option and Lance delivered with authority along with a stanchion head butt for emphasis.

Stay tuned for round 2 in Game 2.

Oh, and don’t forget your ‘Born Ready’ t-shirt which you can order here: