By John P. LopezBy John P. Lopez

The list has been an easy one — inarguable, in my opinion, for years.

Three athletes always have stood at the top when it comes to transcendent feats and performances in what ultimately was a losing effort: Michael Jordan, Reggie Miller, Mike Scott.

Each deserved a better result, instead ultimately having to settle for a tip of the cap and a place among the greatest near-misses in sports history.

1. Jordan put up 63-points and was completely unguardable on April 20, 1986:


2. Reggie Miller capped a 31-point night in the 1994 playoffs against the Knicks with eight-points in 9-seconds that sealed the deal.


3. Then there was Mike Scott, who would have clinched the 1986 NL Championship for the Astros —  had he had the chance to pitch. In two previous games against the Mets, Scott went 2-0 with two complete games and 19 strikeouts. But the Phillies won it with a Game 6 thriller.

But then there was this.

4. Tim Howard set a World Cup record with 16 saves in goal in what would be a singularly remarkable performance, but 2-1 Extra Time loss to Belgium.

To me, Howard’s effort ranks only behind Jordan’s 63-points against Boston.


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