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Kevin Love shows the hardware after winning the 2012 Foot Locker Three-Point Contest.
Juan Ocampo/NBAE/Getty Images

Love outduels Durant to win Foot Locker Three-Point Contest

Posted Jan 31 2012 1:32PM

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com

ORLANDO, Fla. --
Kevin Love is the only winner of the Three-Point Contest whose three-point shooting is his second skill.

"At the end of the day," Love assured, in case anyone wondered, "I'm an inside guy. If I'm not drawing enough blood, I'm not doing my job."

Well, at the end of Saturday at All-Star Weekend, his outside technique was confirmed and awarded. Love is the strangest of power forwards, someone who can change a game either in the paint or beyond the arc, someone who rebounds with abandon but also has the touch of a diamond-cutter from deep.

He had to survive two tiebreakers to do it. He beat the hometown favorite, Ryan Anderson; former three-point contest winner James Jones; Anthony Morrow, who wore a jersey honoring the late Drazen Petrovic; and then out-pointed Kevin Durant, a top-three NBA scorer. And he did this while bringing the lowest three-point percentage of all the contestants, which meant nothing on this night.

That's because, in a sense, Love has spent years preparing for this moment.

"When I came out of the draft, I was told that I shouldn't shoot 3s," said Love. "It was motivation for me. I always knew I could shoot it and I didn't think I had to stop, just because of my size or the position I played."

Love spent his rookie season listening to critics and stayed close to the rim. After that, he strayed, and his career soared at the same time. He shot 41 percent last season and has cooled to 36 percent now, both impressive numbers for a lifetime 12 rebounds-a-game player.

"The position is changing," Love said. "Guys like Dirk (Nowitzki) or LaMarcus Aldridge are just a few who can hit those shots are add another dimension to their game.

"That doesn't mean I'm going to start throwing up 3s the rest of the season. I'm not going to let this go to my head in that respect. But this shows how much work I put in with Terry Porter (Wolves assistant coach) who finished runner-up twice in this contest. This is for him. I was the darkhorse in that competition if you consider a few of the guys in particular. Once I saw that (Durant) was added to the competition, I thought, 'oh, no.' He's the type of guy who can get hot."

When the Timberwolves resume play and begin a push toward making the playoffs, Love plans to return to his trademark.

"I want to be known as a power player," he said. "That's the best way I can help my team, by being a presence inside. That's how we're going to be able to move in the right direction.

"But every now and then, I'll step out and shoot a three. I'm not out of my comfort zone there."

event-history.jpg

2011
Heat's Jones outlasts duo of Celtics to win 3-Point Contest
Often overshadowed by his superstar Heat teammates, James Jones was the center of attention on All-Star Saturday night as he beat a pair of Celtics in the final round to win the 2011 Foot Locker Three-Point Contest.

For one night, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James were mere courtside spectators, standing around and watching the Heat's fourth (fifth?) option in a shootout against two players standing in Miami's way of a conference championship.

Jones' 20 point total in the final round gave him the title over Paul Pierce's 18 and Ray Allen's 15.

2010
Pierce redeems himself to claim Foot Locker Three-Point title
Getting redemption the only place possible for the moment, Paul Pierce of the Celtics atoned for a bad showing his last time in the competition by winning the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest during the 2010 All-Star Weekend in Dallas.

After posting 17 points in the first round, Pierce out-dueled Stephen Curry of the Warriors and Chauncey Billups of the Nuggest in the final round.

2009
Heat's cook ends Kapono's reign
Miami's Daequan Cook ended Jason Kapono's two-year reign as the NBA's best exhibition sharpshooter, besting Orlando's Rashard Lewis in overtime in Phoenix.

2008
Kapono repeats with dominating Three-Point performance
Jason Kapono kept his Contest title and dominated the 2008 field. Kapono notched 25 points in the final round in New Orleans, tying the all-time record set in 1986 by Mark Price. He set a new mark for most points in a final round of the Shootout, flipping in 20-of-25 shot attempts (including 10 in a row from the third ball of the first rack to the second ball of the third rack) for a total of 25 points.

2007
Kapono ties final-round record
Jason Kapono tied Mark Price's final-round record with 24 points and outlasted Gilbert Arenas on his way to the 2007 Contest title in Las Vegas. Arenas notched a first-round high of 23 points and had 17 in the finals.

More All-Star History >>
All Three-Point Challenge results >>

Foot Locker Three-Point Contest Year-By-Year Winners

2011 -- James Jones, Miami
2010 -- Paul Pierce, Boston
2009 -- Daequan Cook, Miami
2008 -- Jason Kapono, Toronto
2007 -- Jason Kapono, Miami Heat
2006 -- Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas
2005 -- Quentin Richardson, Phoenix
2004 -- Voshon Lenard, Denver
2003 -- Peja Stojakovic, Sacramento
2002 -- Peja Stojakovic, Sacramento
2001 -- Ray Allen, Milwaukee
2000 -- Jeff Hornacek, Utah
1998 -- Jeff Hornacek, Utah
1997 -- Steve Kerr, Chicago
1996 -- Tim Legler, Washington
1995 -- Glen Rice, Miami
1994 -- Mark Price, Cleveland
1993 -- Mark Price, Cleveland
1992 -- Craig Hodges, Chicago
1991 -- Craig Hodges, Chicago
1990 -- Craig Hodges, Chicago
1989 -- Dale Ellis, Seattle
1988 -- Larry Bird, Boston
1987 -- Larry Bird, Boston
1986 -- Larry Bird, Boston

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