Pitt grad Cam Johnson has been competing in the NBA Finals with the Phoenix Suns, and on Sunday night, he made one of the most outstanding plays of the 2021 playoffs with a thunderous dunk that came at the expense of Milwaukee Bucks forward P.J. Tucker.
The dunk came with just under eight minutes left to play in the third quarter of Game 3 with the Suns trailing the Bucks 69-56. Johnson inbounded the ball to Suns guard Chris Paul, who drew two Bucks, leaving Johnson unguarded. Paul then found Johnson streaking toward the basket and lobbed a pass to him.
Johnson took a few strides, gliding from midcourt to the key, and then leapt toward the basket, taking out Tucker in the process and slamming down a dunk for the ages. Tucker was called for a foul on the play, prompting an unsuccessful challenge by Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer. And when Johnson made his way to the line, he would drain his lone free throw to complete the three-point play.
All told, Johnson finished with 14 points, matching his personal best in this year’s playoffs. However, his contributions would not be enough to prevent the Suns from suffering a 120-100 loss at the hands of the Bucks. But despite Sunday’s setback, the Suns still lead the Bucks 2-1, and the next game in the series is set to be played on Wednesday night.
Johnson is in his second season with the Suns, who selected him in the first round of the 2019 NBA draft. The 6’8”, 210-pound forward played at Pitt from 2014 to 2017 and graduated in three years. He then opted to finish his college career at North Carolina rather than ride out the last season of the Kevin Stallings era. This season with the Suns, Johnson has averaged 9.6 points and 3.3 assists per game, and he has shot 34.9 percent from long range.