Bucks' Giannis on Block of Deandre Ayton: 'I Thought I Was Going to Get Dunked on'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJuly 15, 2021

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) blocks a shot by Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) during the second half of Game 4 of basketball's NBA Finals Wednesday, July 14, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
AP Photo/Aaron Gash

While Khris Middleton did much of the heavy lifting on the offensive side during the Milwaukee Bucks' 109-103 victory over the Phoenix Suns in Wednesday's Game 4 of the NBA Finals, Giannis Antetokounmpo's block of a Deandre Ayton alley-oop attempt in the final minutes helped swing the game.

"Just a hustle play," he told reporters. "I thought I'm going to get dunked on, to be honest with you."

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“I thought I was going to get dunked on, to be honest with you.”<br><br>Giannis on his game-sealing block in Game 4<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NBATV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NBATV</a>)<a href="https://t.co/dyVdv5bU2f">pic.twitter.com/dyVdv5bU2f</a>

The block came with Milwaukee nursing a two-point lead in the final two minutes, and rather than giving up a dunk and the lead, the home team grabbed possession and maintained the momentum in front of a raucous crowd.

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GIANNIS CAME UP CLUTCH 😤<br><br>A HUGE block when it mattered <a href="https://t.co/ZbyMCj8L1s">pic.twitter.com/ZbyMCj8L1s</a>

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This photo of Giannis' block 🖼 <a href="https://t.co/uyHxx6cWTk">pic.twitter.com/uyHxx6cWTk</a>

It was one of multiple key defensive plays Antetokounmpo made down the stretch, as he also blocked a Chris Paul shot while trailing by one, which led to a go-ahead three-pointer from Pat Connaughton on the other end.

Giannis finished with 26 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists, three steals and two blocks in an impressive all-around performance, but it was Middleton who carried the Bucks for much of the game.

He countered Devin Booker's 42 points with a 40-point performance of his own, including 10 straight points for the victors in the final three minutes as they seized control of the game.

It was an all-time performance on a massive stage for someone who is typically the No. 2 option and helped the Bucks create a situation where the series is now a best-of-three battle even though they lost the first two games.

If Middleton continues to be a force and Antetokounmpo plays defense like he did down the stretch of Wednesday's win, it will be difficult for the Suns to wrestle momentum back after two successive losses.