Kevin Love (back spasms) leaves Cavaliers' win, won't play in Dallas

CLEVELAND -- Cavaliers forward Kevin Love was ruled out for the second half of Sunday's 107-91 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder because of lower-back spasms.

According to Cavs coach Ty Lue, Love will remain in Cleveland to undergo an MRI and will not make the trip to Dallas for Monday's game.

"He's not traveling with the team, so we'll figure it out once he gets the images back," Lue said.

Love sat out a win over the Phoenix Suns on Jan. 19 because of his back, which he tweaked Jan. 13 in Sacramento. That later caused him to play only 16 minutes against the Golden State Warriors in a Finals rematch on Jan. 16.

Love played just 12 minutes against the Thunder, collecting eight rebounds and scoring one point on 0-for-4 shooting.

The setback capped a whirlwind week for the nine-year veteran, who was linked to trade talk involving Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks and was named as a reserve in the All-Star Game for the first time since joining the Cavs.

He is averaging 20.3 points on 42.8 percent shooting from the field and 37.9 percent from 3 for the season but just 15.5 points on 35.2 percent shooting overall and 30 percent from 3 in 11 appearances in January.

LeBron James, who has experienced back pain that was so severe he required an anti-inflammatory injection each of the past two seasons, was asked about Love's condition.

"I don't know exactly what he's going through," James said. "I don't know if it's a spasm, I don't know if it's vertebra, I don't know if it's a disk. It's all different types of ways a back can be hurt. I know what mine was. If he comes to me or if he needs anything as far as what did I do and things of that nature, I can try to lend my helping hand. But if it's different, then I don't know. Everybody's body is different.

"But it's nothing to play with. It's nothing to play with. It's a terrible feeling when your back is hurt. It just limits you more than anything. I know it's very frustrating for him because he puts in a lot of work. He's in the weight room all the time, and he's doing his thing to keep his body in shape, then this is happening to him, so it's very frustrating. Hopefully, things get better for him soon."

Several Cavs players believed 14-year veteran James Jones would likely fill in for Love in the starting lineup.

"Like always, next guy's got to step up," Tristan Thompson said. "Champ [James Jones[ came in and did a reverse layup. I haven't seen that since maybe he played at the University of Miami, so guys got to step up. This has been our mantra since we all came together: next man up. We talk about it every year. Next man up. We hope Kevin gets well, takes care of his body, because you know we're going to need him for the long haul. So whatever he has to do to get 100 percent, that's the most important. We need Kev for the long haul. Everyone wants to push it through, but if you're hurt or you're not feeling right, get right because we need the big fella."

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All-Star Kevin Love to undergo tests on back

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love will undergo medical tests and not accompany the team on its trip to Dallas.

Love left Cleveland’s 107-91 victory over Oklahoma City on Sunday in the first half with back spasms. Love, who has been bothered by back issues since he joined the Cavaliers three seasons ago, missed a game earlier this month with back spasms.

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said Love will undergo imaging tests on Monday. The Cavaliers visit the Mavericks that night.

Love missed all four shots — three 3-pointers — in the opening half before he was replaced and went to the locker room with 1:50 left in the second quarter. He struggled to get back on defense during one possession as his back seized up.

He is averaging 20.3 points and 11.1 rebounds for the defending NBA champions. He was selected an Eastern Conference reserve for next month’s All-Star Game in New Orleans last week.

Love was kept out of the second half of a loss to Golden State on Jan. 16 with soreness in his lower back. He missed the next game on Jan. 19.

The Cavs are already thin in the frontcourt after Chris Andersen went down with a season-ending knee injury. Cavs general manager David Griffin may try to add another big man before the Feb. 23 trade deadline.

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