Kevin Love reveals potential impression in Cleveland Cavaliers’ 114-94 loss to Philadelphia 76ers

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CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland Cavaliers hype man in the arena saved Kevin Love for the last time.

When Love’s name was announced on the grid, fans at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse exploded – a mixture of excitement about his return and pent-up frustrations from Love’s injury-related season. Love then led the pregame huddle, broke the team down, and received a playful hug from Starting Point Guardian Darius Garland, who was excited about Love’s return early that morning.

Love was back. His fifth game of the season. The first at home since December 27th – for one night he grabbed his right calf and hobbled from the square towards an uncertain future. Not even the return of Love could get Cleveland out of its current funk and lose to the understaffed Philadelphia 76ers (114-94). That’s five defeats in the last six games.

The Cavaliers’ $ 120 million man was sidelined for 33 straight games earlier this season. He finally returned in March after the All-Star hiatus. The comeback, however, was short-lived: two games were played before the calf injury got worse again and the next eight games were missed. Love tried early to make up for lost time. He got the Cavs off to a quick start, taking out 13 of the team’s first 15 points while splashing 3s and throwing pennies. But love faded And the team followed.

“They surpassed us in the second half, they shot, no shots were fired at us,” said Cavs coach JB Bickerstaff after the defeat. “We didn’t have the same gasoline, the same fuel as in the first half and they took advantage of it.”

As usual, it started in the third quarter – Cleveland’s Achilles heel all season. Philadelphia was only two points behind at halftime and prevailed against Cleveland in the third game 27-17. The 76ers, who played again without Joel Embiid, pushed that lead to 26 in the second half at a point in time before they crossed for their first win in the last three games. They defeated the Cavs 56-38 in the second half. Cleveland posted 12 sales in the past two quarters after only making six mistakes in the first half.

Love scored 13 points – all in the first quarter – at 4-of-10 from the field, including 3-of-6 from 3-point, four rebounds and three assists in 20 minutes.

“Kevin is a really good player and not just for himself, he makes his teammates better and they are not even used to playing with him,” said Bickerstaff. “The more comfortable you are with him, the better he will be and we will be as a group. But his versatility, inside-out ability, and ability to share the ball make everyone better. “

Collin Sexton was leading on the offensive and brought in 24 points, three assists and three rebounds. Dean Wade, who started alongside Love, threw in 16 points and eight rebounds. Newcomer Isaiah Hartenstein, who made his second midseason appearance since joining the team from Denver, added 12 points and seven rebounds from the bench.

Philadelphia’s Shake Milton scored 27 points and resulted in an explosive attack that saw five players hit double digits. Seth Curry scorched the nets, racking up 19 points and drilling five triples. Dwight Howard fought for the basket and scored 18 points off the bench. Tobias Harris finished at 12. Danny Green had 11.

The Cavs hoped that Love’s return combined with Matthew Dellavedova’s season debut would give the young team the veteran support that was sporadically lacking throughout the year, forcing Bickerstaff to shuffle the lineups with his 23rd other group on Thursday night . But Cleveland’s battle-hardened champions can only offer so much support.

The Cavs felt the impact without love throughout the season. It plays a role in her 17-31 record. They received a reminder of how he can help on the track – if he can stay healthy.

With Love on the field on Thursday evening, the Cavs were competitive and were only exceeded by two points in those 20 minutes.

The other 28 minutes were the problem.

Season debut

Dellavedova hadn’t played all season because of a severe concussion and appendicectomy. He checked in for the first time in nearly 13 months at 3:55 am in the first quarter. Dellavedova also received a nice ovation. In his first action since March 10, 2020, he helped stabilize the second unit, organize the team’s offensive and lead the pass-oriented, team-oriented approach. As usual, Dellavedova, a fan favorite, brought the energy with him, dived on the ground for loose balls and fought with some opponents.

While he didn’t score, Dellavedova made five assists in 16 minutes.

Back in rotation

After two direct DNPs, Cedi Osman was called by the bank in the middle of the first quarter. Back in Bickerstaff’s good hands, Osman scored six points.

Next

The Cavs will embark on a three-game road trip against the Miami Heat on Saturday night. Tipoff is set to 8 p.m.

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