Discussing Giannis Antetokoumpo's block in Bucks' Game 4 win | SportsCenter


ESPN 15 July, 2021 - 09:54pm 16 views

Did Devin Booker foul out?

NBA Finals Suns-Bucks: Twitter Was STUNNED Devin Booker Didn't Foul Out On This Play. Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns lost Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday night. Sports IllustratedNBA Finals Suns-Bucks: Twitter Was STUNNED Devin Booker Didn't Foul Out On This Play

Where can I watch Game 4 of the NBA Finals?

Where to stream. The game will stream on ABC's app and on ABC.com, as well as WatchESPN or the ESPN App, which requires a TV provider login. Viewers can also watch on YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV, AT&T TV Now, FuboTV or Sling TV. Free trial options are available for all of the paid streaming services. USA TODAYPhoenix Suns vs. Milwaukee Bucks: Time, how to watch/stream NBA Finals Game 4

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Analysis: Cam Johnson, Justin Jackson and a history of UNC players in the NBA Finals

The Daily Tar Heel 16 July, 2021 - 12:00am

Graduate guard Cameron Johnson attempts a layup in the first half against Louisville in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte.

Former UNC basketball players have a long history with the NBA Finals, and this year the Phoenix Suns' Cam Johnson and the Milwaukee Bucks' Justin Jackson have made it there, vying for the championship.

Johnson started his college career at Pitt before transferring to UNC. After a prolonged fight for immediate eligibility, Johnson turned into an impact player for two seasons of highly-ranked UNC basketball. While at UNC, he developed into a quality NBA prospect with his lanky size and deep shooting ability and was selected as the 11th overall pick in the 2019 draft.

This past NBA season, Johnson averaged 24 minutes, 9.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 0.6 steals per game. He has made a significant impact on the 2021 NBA playoffs, taking his play to another level. 

In the postseason this year, he is averaging 21.3 minutes, 8.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 0.9 steals per game. Despite a decrease in playing time, Johnson increased his production in the other categories. He has also made some impact plays during the playoffs, including a highlight-reel dunk over P.J. Tucker in game three of the finals.

Jackson played three seasons with the Tar Heels and was a member of the 2017 national championship team. After the season, he declared for the draft, being selected with the 15th pick by the Portland Trail Blazers. Jackson then bounced around the league for a few seasons before being signed by the Bucks in April, where he has played as a reserve.

UNC has a total of 18 former players that have won the NBA Finals. Six players from UNC have won three or more championships; the most recent player to join this club was Danny Green in 2020 with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Despite having 14 more active players in the NBA, Duke has 13 fewer NBA champions than UNC with five. Nearly one-fifth of all former Tar Heels who went on to play at the highest level of the sport went on to become champions.

The first former Tar Heel to win an NBA championship was Billy Cunningham with the 76ers in 1967. Alongside NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain, Cunningham averaged 19.7 points per game in the series, helping to defeat the San Francisco Warriors in six games.

Cunningham was one of Dean Smith's first star players at UNC. The power forward averaged 24.8 points across his college career and still holds the program record for his career rebounding average of 15.4.

Charlie Scott, the first Black scholarship athlete at UNC, also won an NBA championship while playing with the Celtics in 1976. A five-time All-Star and an Olympic gold medalist, Scott was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2018 after an illustrious career.

And of course, there's the most famous UNC basketball alumnus: Michael Jordan, who has a legacy of winning NBA Finals. After winning the 1982 NCAA Championship with UNC, Jordan went on to win six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls. Adding five regular-season MVPs and 14 All-Star selections to go along with his rings, Jordan cemented himself as arguably the greatest player the sport has ever seen.

The only other former UNC player to have won NBA Finals MVP was James Worthy with the Lakers in 1988. Worthy won a total of three championships throughout his career as a part of the "Showtime" Lakers dynasty.

With former players on both teams in the 2021 NBA Finals, UNC will get to add another NBA championship to its history of alumni success no matter the outcome.

Buy your copy of the DTH's commemorative Roy Williams edition today. Supplies are limited

NBA Finals: What should Suns make of Devin Booker’s brilliance and Chris Paul’s sloppiness in Game 4 loss?

USA TODAY 16 July, 2021 - 12:00am

Devin Booker was on fire, but dealt with foul trouble. Chris Paul struggled to take care of the ball. It all added up to a disappointing Game 4 loss.

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Former Chicago Bulls player B.J. Armstrong believes Chris Paul doesn't need a championship to cement his legacy, but he could elevate his status as maybe the best "small" point guard in NBA history. USA TODAY

MILWAUKEE — After he glanced at the box score and replayed the sloppy plays in his mind, Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul stared straight into the camera. He then took the blame both for the Suns’ 109-103 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 4 of the NBA Finals and for the team’s 17 turnovers, including one in the final 30 seconds.

"It was me; I had five of them," said Paul, who also had only 10 points on 5-of-13 shooting. "It was bad decision making."

After completing a bounce-back game that entailed shooting over multiple defenders, navigating foul trouble and even receiving some superstar treatment from the officials, Suns guard Devin Booker offered another example of how the 24-year-old exudes an old-school mentality. Despite scoring 42 points on 17-of-28 shooting, Booker hardly looked in the mood to gush about his dominance. Instead, he lamented that the Bucks tied the series at 2-2.

"It doesn't matter at all," Booker said. "The main objective is to win the game. So anything that goes on throughout the game, it doesn't matter."

Chris Paul self critical for having five of the Suns’ 17 turnovers pic.twitter.com/Kf0UxHUMP2

It surely matters, however, that the Suns could not take advantage of Booker nearly mimicking his playoff-career high 47-point performance in a decisive Game 6 first-round win over the Los Angeles Lakers. It surely matters, however, that Paul could not maintain poise in crunch time and give Booker enough reinforcements.

The highlight shows will endlessly replay Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo stuffing DeAndre Ayton’s lob attempt while the Bucks held a 101-99 lead with 1:14 left. And why not? Suns coach Monty Williams conceded "it was a good play." That sequence might partly explain why Ayton declined to speak to reporters afterwards.

But the bigger takeaway points to the Suns’ backcourt, and how they offered plenty of good, bad and ugly.

Booker rectified his Game 3 performance that entailed 10 points on 3-of-14 shooting quickly. Williams sensed it after observing that Booker "looked really good" both during a workout on Tuesday and during morning shootaround and pre-game warmups on Wednesday.

Monty Williams on Devin Booker’s foul trouble and Chris Paul’s turnovers pic.twitter.com/xNzgaZNCh0

After Williams saw Booker show "a pop" in his legs, Booker showed what an extra day of rest can do. Booker drained baseline fadeaways as if he were Kobe Bryant. Booker made crafty bank shots as if he were Steve Nash. Booker drew fouls as if he were James Harden.

"That’s just his mindset," Williams said. "We knew he was going to bounce back the other night."

The Suns did not know that Booker’s bounce-back game would also coincide with him getting into serious foul trouble. He collected his fourth foul while the Suns held a 65-61 lead with 5:53 left in the third quarter. That put Williams in what he called "not an ideal situation." If Booker continued to play, he could leave the game early when the Suns need him most. If Booker sat, the Suns could lose the game even before crunch time hit.

Booker still sat then before quickly returning at the 3:25 mark while the Suns held a 71-70 lead. He then closed out the quarter with eight points for a 82-76 cushion. But then Booker collected his fifth foul with 10:50 left in the fourth quarter, prompting Williams to sit Booker until the 5:55 mark. Fortunately, the Suns still held a five-point lead (95-90).

"It's tough," Booker said. "But I think we, the group that was out there was holding it down, defending at a high level."

The Suns did not perform at a high level when they needed to the most. Booker deserves praise for still playing aggressively through foul trouble and remaining "in rhythm" after the long layoff. But he deserves criticism for playing carelessly. He went 2-of-6 from the field during the last 5:55. Booker also got away with a foul when Bucks guard Jrue Holiday went up for a layup with 3:41 left, which would have been his sixth and sidelined him for the rest of the game.

"During live play, I saw a clean sweep of the ball and thought it was a no call," crew chief James Capers told a pool reporter. "However, after seeing the replay, I now realize that I missed Booker’s right arm around the waist of Holiday, and it should have been a defensive foul on the play."

The Suns' recklessness eventually caught up to them. Trailing 101-99 with 34.8 seconds left, Paul crossed over Holiday before trying to do the same thing against Antetokounmpo. Paul then fell and lost control of the ball. Bucks guard Khris Middleton finished with a fastbreak layup.

"I got to take care of the ball," Paul said.

So where does this leave the Suns? Obviously, they squandered a chance to widen the series lead to 3-1 and potentially close the series out in Game 5 in Phoenix. Paul’s miscues also brought flashbacks to his costly turnovers with the Los Angeles Clippers against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2014 Western Conference semifinals.

USA TODAY Sports Jeff Zillgitt explains why an NBA Finals without LeBron James, Steph Curry and Kevin Durant is actually a really good sign for the league's future. USA TODAY

Yet, the Suns have good reason to feel optimistic even if they have no answer for Antetokounmpo, who had 26 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists.

One, the Suns rarely played this summer. They ranked fourth best in the league for fewest turnovers per game (12.3). Paul rarely has that many miscues as well (2.3 turnovers per game).

"He’s fine. Great players have games like that. We expect him to bounce back," Williams said. "But it wasn’t just Chris. As a team tonight, we have to take better care of the ball."

Two, Booker’s sluggish performances don’t last long, either. He averaged 24 points on 50% shooting this season following the five games he averaged a collective 26.7% from the field.

"If we take care of the ball and cut out five of those turnovers, he probably ends up with 50 tonight," Williams said. "I foresee him playing like that the rest of the series."

But by failing to capitalize on Booker’s brilliant play in Game 4, the Suns gave the Bucks more confidence, hope and momentum to tilt the series in their favor.

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Relive the spectacular block by Giannis Antetokounmpo

Eurohoops 15 July, 2021 - 07:59am

Giannis Antetokounmpo stopping Deandre Ayton can be proven a turning point for the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Finals

Between a 3-1 deficit and a 2-2 tie, Giannis Antetokounmpo ensured the 2021 NBA Finals are evened ahead of Game 5. His big block against Deandre Ayton on Wednesday rocked the Phoenix Suns center and has since been having a similar effect on Twitter.

“We wanted this bad and the team showed it tonight,” explained the Greek Freak summing up the exciting contest. He also admitted to initially thinking he will get dunked on, but it was worth that risk.

The Milwaukee Bucks were up by two points with 1:28 remaining. That rejection prevented the visitors from tying Game 4 at 101-101 and paved the way for the W.

Game 5 is planned to be held at the opposite venue on Saturday.

Bucks bucks game Giannis

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