The great ones are defined by signature moments on the biggest stage and Giannis Antetokounmpo might have just pulled off the biggest of his career.
Down the stretch of Game 4, with the Milwaukee Bucks leading 101-99 with under 90 seconds remaining, the Phoenix Suns had a chance to tie things up, but Antetokounmpo had other ideas.
TAKEAWAYS: Middleton, Antetokounmpo shine as Bucks even series
Devin Booker powered into the lane and tossed it up to big man Deandre Ayton who rose up to finish the alley-oop, but Antetokounmpo instinctively turned and perfectly timed his leap to meet him at the rim and send the shot flying off the backboard into the awaiting arms of P.J Tucker.
GIANNIS SAYS NO.@Bucks up 4 with 27.2 left.#NBAFinals on ABC pic.twitter.com/hUdbBniFlD- NBA (@NBA) July 15, 2021
"That's an NBA Finals special moment right there...that's what he's capable of," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said postgame.
On the Suns' next posession, Chris Paul turned the ball over, leading to a Khris Middleton fastbreak layup, shutting the door on Game 4 as the Bucks went on to win 109-103.
If the Bucks go on to win the NBA Finals, that block will be emblazoned across t-shirts in Milwaukee for the next 20 years.
Antetokounmpo finished with 26 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists, three steals and two blocks, with the series now tied at 2-2.
"I thought I was going to get dunked on, to be honest with you," he said postgame of the block.
"But going down the stretch and doing whatever it takes to win the game and put yourself in a position that can win the game."
"I thought I was going to get dunked on, to be honest with you."- NBA TV (@NBATV) July 15, 2021
Giannis breaks down his block on Ayton. pic.twitter.com/ZgxulnqvMM
Players around the league took to Twitter after the play in awe of Antetokounmpo's monstrous defensive effort.
He's not a former Defensive Player of the Year for no reason.
That block by Giannis might have won them the game- Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) July 15, 2021
The championship* https://t.co/5l9jXGZo28- Spencer Dinwiddie (@SDinwiddie_25) July 15, 2021
That block by Giannis one of the best i ever seen- Richaun Holmes (@Rich_Holmes22) July 15, 2021
They close this series and that block is legendary! https://t.co/K6Poy5FymO- Draymond Green (@Money23Green) July 15, 2021
That Giannis block was crazy… @KingJames esque!!- andre (@andre) July 15, 2021
That block 🔥- Austin Rivers (@AustinRivers25) July 15, 2021
That Giannis block has gotta be up there w Lebrons block from the Finals! And def rootin a 2-2 tie and more drama in this series. Best of 3 now!! #NBAFinals- Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) July 15, 2021
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