National Basketball Association
Report: Love likely to be cleared for Game 4, come off bench
National Basketball Association

Report: Love likely to be cleared for Game 4, come off bench

Published Jun. 9, 2016 6:27 p.m. ET

Kevin Love suffered a concussion in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, and the league's concussion protocol wouldn't medically clear him in time to play in Game 3. After getting blown out in the first two contests, Cleveland cruised to its first victory of the series Wednesday with Richard Jefferson in the starting lineup while Love was out of action.

Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue will now have a more difficult decision to make where his starting lineup is concerned, as Love (via a report from Jason Lloyd of is expected to be available for Friday's Game 4 with the Warriors leading 2-1 in the series.

Lue didn't have much to say about Love's situation at Thursday's media availability, and wouldn't be baited into discussing whether the Game 3 win would affect Love's place in the rotation moving forward.

"Haven't thought about it yet," Lue said. "Hopefully just trying to get Kevin healthy is the most important thing right now."


NBA head coaches will tell you that the lineup on the floor at the end of the game matters more than who starts it, and even in a bench role, if Love proves to be effective, he could still end up playing a starter's share of minutes.

But it's critical that the Cavaliers make the most of their opportunity to even the series at home, and if Lue feels that the team's best chances to do so include lineups with Love on the sidelines, he won't be afraid to sit one of his top players with so much at stake.

"We can't afford to go down 3-1 and go into their building and give them confidence going back," LeBron James said Thursday. "So it's a do-or-die game for us still."


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