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Kevin Love’s been practicing outlet passes for moments like LeBron James’ buzzer beater

Love has been throwing on-point outlet passes since high school.

With just over three seconds left in regulation of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Tuesday thriller against the Washington Wizards, LeBron James banked in a fadeaway three-pointer to send the game into overtime.

But it was Kevin Love’s bomb of an inbounds pass that set James up for the magical moment and compelled a Wizards assistant coach to have a seat.

Love launched a three-quarters-court chest pass to James, who then took a dribble, turned around and drilled an unlikely triple that sent the Verizon Center into mass hysteria.

The Cavaliers went on to beat Washington in overtime, 140-135, and while Love’s team-high 39 points and 12 rebounds stood out on the stat sheet, it was the All-Star power forward’s passing ability that made the difference Tuesday night.

Kevin Love’s been doing this for quite some time now

Love’s pinpoint outlet pass to James wasn’t just a stroke of luck. It’s a craft he’s honed since childhood. His father, Stan, spent two seasons alongside NBA legend Wes Unseld, who made a living cleaning the glass and dishing sweet outlet passes of his own.

Love’s trainer, Rob McClanaghan, attributed his passing power a childhood hand and wrist workout routing his father put him through.

“Strong, strong hands,” said McClanaghan, according to the The New York Times. “I think that’s a major key here. He was doing fingertip push-ups with his dad going back to his youth days.”

From there, a serial outlet passer was born. It started in high school, where Love’s college coach said his distance passes were something he “hadn’t seen around here before.”

From there, the passing prowess translated to college at UCLA, where Love threw upcourt lead passes to an erratic combo guard named Russell Westbrook. He averaged 1.9 assists per game in his lone college season, many coming from outlet passes off defensive rebounds.

Love then made the jump to the NBA and practiced throwing outlet passes to pros. It wasn’t just a high school or college thing — he became a dual threat, hauling in defensive rebounds, surveying his options, and rifling off a pass upcourt.

In the 2013-14 season, Love averaged a career-best 4.4 assists per game, the same year Corey Brewer played 32.2 minutes per game, the most in his career. Together, the two helped lead Minnesota to 40 wins for the first time since the 2004-05 season, compromising opposing scouting reports with some nifty toss and catch along the way.

Fast forward a few years later and something amazing happened: LeBron James went home to Cleveland and urged the team to trade for Love. They obliged, creating one of the most devastating quarterback-wide receivers tandems to grace a basketball court.

James and Love (and Kyrie Irving, of course) went on to win a championship in 2016. Cleveland is the prohibitive favorite to repeat as Eastern Conference champions this season, and with a mammoth double-double in a win over Washington on Tuesday, Love’s quelled all trade rumors of he and New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony swapping places.

And while it might be his three-point shooting and rebounding that pop out on the box score, Love’s Unseld-like outlet passes added another dimension to his game and, even better, another dimension to Cleveland’s offense.