Kevin Love exited Game 6 before at half-time after a head-to-head collision with Jayson Tatum. As the Cleveland Cavaliers posted a 109-99 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the team announced that Love will not return to court. He was evaluated for a possible concussion at half time.
The referee called a timeout with barely 7 minutes remaining in the first quarter when Boston lead the game 10-6. This is the time when he hit into the Celtics’ rookie and fell down. He was helped from the floor by George Hill who carried him to the bench. Soon, he was transferred to the locker room for a medical evaluation. Tyronn Lue did not update the media about his condition after the team’s victory but a head injury could be speculated for the big man.
The Celtics are concerned about Tatum too. Coach Brad Stevens said that “every indication is he’s fine” but he also suggested that he will be monitored for symptoms of a possible concussion. Tatum was on the court for 39 minutes in the game, during which he scored 15 points, with three rebounds and two assists.
This is not the first time Love is being monitored for a concussion. He has had this problem ever since he joined the Cavs. In March this year, he was placed in the concussion protocol. He was elbowed in the face by Jordan Mickey from the Miami Heats. Before this, he suffered a concussion in Game 2 of the 2016 NBA finals with the Golden State Warriors.
Because of Love’s early departure from the game, LeBron James had to stay on the court longer than coach Lue wanted. He had some trouble juggling the rotating during the game.
James played the first 35 minutes during the game and then went out for some time as he felt soreness in his lower leg. He returned for the last 8 minutes of the game. However, he did whatever he could to ensure that the Cavs did not yield a victory for their opponents in this crucial game.
The series has now tied by 3-3 and Monday’s Game 7 will be all the more important in ensuring that Cleveland does “Whatever it takes” to get ahead in the game.
The team will depend heavily on James who scored 46 points in the game with 11 rebounds and 9 assists. With the All-Star Love’s conditions till unclear, he will have to bear a stronger responsibility. Friday’s Game 6 could probably be the last game LeBron plays for the Cavs in the home court. He said, “It feels good just to be able to play for another game. Like I’ve always said, Game 7 is the best two words in sports. … We should relish the opportunity and have fun with it.”
If the team wins, it could become his eight consecutive NBA final. The team will have to face Celtics in their home, where they have remained undefeated in the past 10 games of the postseason.