Posted Mar 3 2013 8:38PM
Athletes call it being 'in the zone,' a mental, physical and emotional state that enables them to perform at an almost mystical level. For tennis players, it results in shots that sizzle down the line. For football quarterbacks, it results in pinpoint passes that find their targets' fingertips 40 yards downfield.
When a basketball player is in the zone, his shots unerringly find their target and his range extends almost beyond limits. It doesn't matter where he catches the ball or how many people are guarding him, once he rises up for the jumper, you just know it's going in.
Reggie Miller of the Indiana Pacers was in such a zone in Game 5 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Where some players might have been intimidated, Miller thrived, wearing his role as New York's No. 1 villain with ease. With the series tied 2-2, Miller unleashed the game of a lifetime, scoring 39 points. It was in the fourth quarter that Miller truly was in the zone, hitting five three-pointers and tallying 25 points as the Pacers rallied to upset the Knicks 93-86.
But all zones come to an end, and the Knicks bounced back to win Game 6 in Indiana and capture the series by taking Game 7 in New York.
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