The Cleveland Cavaliers began Game 1 of The Finals at full strength
The team announced today that All-Star forward Kevin Love has completed the NBA's concussion protocol and was OK to suit up and play against the Golden State Warriors in Game 1. Hours later, it became official that the All-Star forward would start for Cleveland.
"Kevin Love has completed the NBA’s Concussion Return to Play Program and will be available to play tonight in Game 1 of the NBA Finals," the team said in a statement Thursday.
Love was placed in the NBA's concussion protocol and the All-Star forward missed Sunday's series finale of the Eastern Conference finals. The Cavs won that game, 87-79, to reach The Finals, but Love's status for the NBA championship series was unclear as of yesterday.
The Cavaliers said Love, who inadvertently bashed heads with Boston Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum in the first quarter of Game 6 of the East finals, experienced concussion-like symptoms Saturday before the team's flight to Boston.
Love is averaging 13.9 points and 10.0 rebounds in 17 playoff starts, and he's the No. 2 scoring option for the Cavs.
Love missed the majority of Cleveland's 2015 run to The Finals after separating his shoulder in the first round against Boston.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.