A 4-point play in basketball is a scenario where four points are scored on a single basket. This can only happen if a player is fouled while attempting a three-pointer and then makes the subsequent foul shot. Most 4-point play opportunities are converted since professional basketball players shoot above 50% from the free throw line, but many times the free throw is missed.
While less common, another way of earning a 4-point play technically speaking would be to draw a technical or flagrant foul after making a two point shot and then making both free throws to accumulate four points in one possession.
A 4-point play was impossible in the National Basketball Association up until 1979, when the 3-point line was introduced. 3-point plays were common, as players would sometimes get fouled on layup or jumper attempts and convert the free throw attempt, but the 4-point variety was non-existent.
The first 4-point play was executed in the beginning weeks of the 1979 season by Chicago Bulls player Sam Smith.
Due to the rarity of the play, the most impressive feat is perhaps James Jones completing two 4-point plays in a span of only 11 seconds in 2009.