In a pivotal moment late in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, Giannis Antetokounmpo seemed to defy what we know about physics.
The Bucks had just taken a two-point lead over the Suns with a jump shot by Khris Middleton, but Phoenix wasn’t going away. Devin Booker lobbed a perfectly placed alley-oop pass to Deandre Ayton, who charged uncovered to the rim.
Ayton was just a few inches away from slamming down a game-tying dunk with 1:15 left when Antetokounmpo, who had been covering Booker before the pass, leaped from several feet away to deny one of the Suns’ most dynamic offensive weapons at the rim.
Milwaukee went on to win the game 109-103 to even the series at two games apiece. The teams will now travel back to Arizona for Game 5 on Saturday.
The block might not have been a game-saver with still over a minute to play, but it electrified the crowd in Milwaukee and sent Twitter into a frenzy:
That block by Giannis might have won them the game
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) July 15, 2021
That block by Giannis one of the best i ever seen
— Richaun Holmes (@Rich_Holmes22) July 15, 2021
That Giannis block is one of the most incredible defensive plays I think I’ve ever seen? The judgment in help, the rotation, the power of the man he met at the top of his jump, the timing, the strength to stop Ayton from throwing it down on him.
That’s just absolutely unreal.
— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) July 15, 2021
that giannis block was unbelievable. i can’t get over it.
— 🦌 (@SnellSZN) July 15, 2021
If Bucks win it all, they gonna talk about that Giannis block forever.
— Ahmed🇸🇴 (@big_business_) July 15, 2021
Some began comparing it to LeBron James’ chasedown block of the Warriors’ Andre Iguodala late in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. James prevented a layup that would have given Golden State the lead. James’ Cavaliers wound up winning the game and the title. The moment is so well-known that it has its own Wikipedia page .
Even Iguodala himself joined in with the comparison.
Giannis Antetokounmpo’s block on Deandre Ayton at the rim will be remembered as one of the great blocks in NBA Finals history. I haven’t heard Mike Breen get that excited since the block from LeBron James on Andre Iguodala in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals. pic.twitter.com/rT9dA01oBT
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) July 15, 2021
The Giannis block on Ayton tonight and last year’s Bam Adebayo block on Tatum are two of the best and most clutch defensive plays in playoff history. LeBron chase down block obviously on the list as well.
— Joe Yasharoff (@JYash) July 15, 2021
And that wasn’t even the first Antetokounmpo block to be compared to James’ block during this year’s NBA Finals. With at least two more games to be played, Antetokounmpo is putting together quite the defensive highlight reel.