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"Dr.J.'s" Iconic Baseline Scoop Layup

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In a career filled with spectacular plays and memorable moments, one play by Julius Erving stands out as equal to, if not greater than, all the rest.

On May 11, 1980, in the fourth quarter of Game 4 of the NBA Finals, Julius Erving drove around Mark Landsberger, who managed to pin him under the basket with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s help. But he easily evaded both defenders with the most audacious layup we’ve ever seen in the NBA, swooping up from under the backboard with the ball extended over the out-of-bounds line and kissing it off the glass for the score.

The crowd was stunned into silence before erupting in cheers. The Lakers simply were stunned.

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"Here I was, trying to win a championship, and my mouth just dropped open," said Lakers guard Magic Johnson, then a rookie. "He actually did that! I thought, 'What should we do? Should we take the ball out, or should we ask him to do it again?' It's still the greatest move I've ever seen in a basketball game, the all-time greatest."

Erving's fourth-quarter artistry enabled Philadelphia to even the series at 2-2, though the 76ers wound up losing in six games. The play ranks not just like one of Erving's three most famous -- along with his free-throw-line dunk in the 1976 ABA All-Star Game in Denver and his soaring rim attack and "cradle dunk" in the 1983 Finals -- but as another milestone in the mid-air majesty ", Dr. J" brought to the league.

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