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Austin Reaves proved once again that he’s not scared of heaving

After burying a three-quarters court heave for the Lakers against the Spurs that came just after the buzzer, Austin Reaves proved yet again he’s a member of #AlwaysHeave.

Los Angeles Lakers v San Antonio Spurs Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

Austin Reaves nearly had one of his highlights of the season on Wednesday against the Spurs. With just over a second remaining in the third quarter, Reaves took the in-bounds, turned upcourt and heaved a shot from 60 feet that found the bottom of the net.

Because the NBA doesn’t like fun — or because the ball was still in his hand as the clock hit zero — the shot was ruled out. But the highlight will live on.

This wasn’t one of those heaves where the player intentionally holds the ball just after the buzzer before hoisting. No, Austin Reaves is really about that heave life.

“I knew it was close,” Reaves said in his walk-off interview on Spectrum SportsNet postgame. “I knew there was like 1.2, 1.4 (seconds left) so I could get a dribble off. I thought I might have got it off but obviously not. That’s the second time this year. But you continue to heave those because it could change the game.”

As Reaves noted, this isn’t even the first time he’s narrowly missed an incredible end-of-quarter heave. Against the Mavericks at home earlier this year, Reaves chased down a loose ball and threw up a half-court shot as he was drifting out of bounds that banked in.

Again, though, because the NBA just can’t help itself by following the rules at all times, Reaves shot was waved off after replay review.

Reaves’ highlight reel of heaves isn’t just near-makes. Memorably, his shot in Game 6 against the Warriors in the second round of the playoffs very much did count and was very much a highlight of that postseason run.

Avoiding the heave has become a pandemic in the NBA with players worried about their field goal percentage on those handful of heaves they may take each season. Reaves has never shied away from hoisting up those shots and was rewarded handsomely this offseason with a huge contract. And yes, I am wildly conflating those two things.

If the basketball gods were just, then Reaves would be due some good fortune in the future for his willingness to play the game the right way and #AlwaysHeave.

You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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