Sports 101

By , Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

In the world of basketball, the three-point shot can make or break a game in the last second or millisecond. Take, for instance, Indiana Pacers' Reggie Miller's winning three-pointer during Monday night's NBA playoff game against the Chicago Bulls. The Pacers were down two points with seven-tenths of a second remaining when Miller fired the three-point missile to win, 96-94. The three-pointer has revolutionized the game since it was introduced during the NBA's 1979-80 season.

Q: What is another name for a three-pointer?

A: Trey, an oft-used slang term. It also means the side of a die bearing three spots or a throw of dice totaling three.

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Q: What counts as a three-point shot?

A: The shooter's feet must be entirely behind the arc as the ball leaves his hands. The player can land on the line or over, but when he leaves the ground, no part of his feet can be on that line.

Q: What is the distance of a three-point shot?

A: In the NBA it's 23 feet, 9 inches from the basket - a much tougher shot than college's 19 feet, 9 inches. On the international level, it's 20 feet, 6 inches.

Q: What is the average percentage of three-point shots made?

A: About 30 percent in college and 33 percent in the NBA. So sometimes it's better to go for the easy two baskets instead of three.

* Questions? Comments? Send them to parneyl@csps.com

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