Cavs star forward Kevin Love sidelined with back spasms

BY AP • January 19, 2017

CLEVELAND (AP) Cavaliers star forward Kevin Love is still having back issues and will not play Thursday night against Phoenix.

Love expected to be in the lineup despite injuring his back in the first half of Monday night's blowout loss to Golden State. However, he was unable to make it completely through the morning shootaround and the Cavs are giving him another day to rest.

Love sat out the second half against the Warriors and afterward said he didn't think he would miss any more time.

This will be the fifth game Love will miss this season. He was also out with a sore knee and food poisoning. Love is averaging 20.7 points and 10.7 rebounds in what has been his best season for far for the NBA champions.

James Jones will start for Love, the veteran forward's first start since April 2, 2015.

Coach Tyronn Lue considered starting newly acquired Kyle Korver in Love's spot but opted for Jones.

''I like J.J.'s energy, what he brings to the team,'' Lue said. ''The fight and toughness he brings to this team, I think we need that right now.''

Lue said Love is undergoing treatment and at this point the team is confident rest will help his back.

Jones is averaging just 2.6 points but he's shooting 61 percent (17 of 28) on 3-pointers.

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