If the Cleveland Cavaliers want to crawl back into the NBA Finals, they’ll have to do it without Kevin Love.
Love will miss Game 3 of the best-of-seven series against the Golden State Warriors after learning he won’t be medically cleared for Wednesday night’s contest in Cleveland, ESPN’s Marc Stein reports.
The Cavs forward exited Game 2 after getting elbowed in the head by the Warriors’ Harrison Barnes and was diagnosed with a concussion. Love reportedly was “optimistic” he’d be good to go for Game 3 and “aggressively lobbied” to earn clearance for Wednesday’s game, according to Stein. He officially is listed as questionable for Game 3, but doctors told him the earliest he could return would be Friday for Game 4, per Stein.
Things already don’t look good for Cleveland, which suffered an embarrassing 33-point loss to Golden State on Sunday to fall into a 2-0 series hole. Love had 17 points on 7-of-17 shooting in Game 1 but also committed four turnovers and tallied just five points in 21 minutes in Game 2 before Barnes’ elbow knocked him out of the game.
The Cavs have averaged just 83 points per game in their two Finals losses, and only three teams in NBA history — the 1966 Boston Celtics, the 1977 Portland Trail Blazers and the 2006 Miami Heat — have come back from 2-0 deficits to win the title.
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