NBA Finals: Cavaliers' Kevin Love cleared, will start vs. Warriors

By Alex Butler  |  May 31, 2018 at 2:08 PM
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May 31 (UPI) -- Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love will start Game 1 of the NBA Finals after clearing the concussion protocol.

The Cavaliers announced Love's status on Thursday afternoon.

Love suffered a concussion in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics. He missed Game 7 and did not meet with the media Wednesday during media day.

"I hope [he plays]," Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue told reporters. "I'm still not sure. He's going to go do some things today and see how he feels. But he is in the protocol still, so we'll see how he feels."

Lue also said there is no scenario where he would consider bringing Love off of the bench if he was healthy.

Love is averaging 13.9 points and 10 rebounds per game this postseason. He went out early in Game 6 after banging heads and colliding with Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum.

To exit the NBA's concussion protocol a player must be symptom free of head trauma and be evaluated by a physician. They must also play a series of physical exertion and agility drills.

The team's medical staff then consults with the league's director of the program before a final decision is made by the team physician.

The Cavaliers and Warriors tip off at 9 p.m. Thursday at Oracle Arena in Oakland.

Love -- a five-time All-Star -- averaged 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game this season. He started 59 games this year for the Cavaliers.

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