Wednesday May 29th, 2013

Heat forward LeBron James went way, way above the rim to block a transition layup attempt by Pacers guard George Hill during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday.

With a little less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter and the Pacers leading 71-67, Chris Andersen attempted to keep possession for the Heat by saving the ball from going out of bounds. Unfortunately for Andersen, his toss went straight to David West, who quickly pushed it ahead to Hill to set up a two-on-one fast break situation with Paul George on the right flank and James looming as the lone Heat defender in the backcourt. Hill charged straight at the rim down the middle of the court as James initially lurked back near George.

Once Hill committed to attempting the layup, the 2013 MVP -- who finished second in the Defensive Player of the Year voting -- swooped in from the side to contest. This wasn't the prototypical chase-down block, as James approached from nearly a 90-degree angle rather than slamming the ball off the backboard directly from behind. James cleanly blocked the shot with his right hand at full extension and his elbow roughly level with the rim, completing the play by hovering in the air a split-second longer than Hill could manage. The whole thing was made even more impressive by James' ability to avoid both a goaltending violation and a defensive foul during the bang-bang sequence.

The Pacers went on to win 99-92 to even the series at two games apiece. Hill finished with 19 points (on 4-for-13 shooting), six assists and five rebounds in 39 minutes. James finished with a game-high 24 points (on 8-for-18 shooting), six rebounds and five assists before fouling out in the game's final minute. Game 5 is set for Thursday in Miami.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.