Kevin Love leaves Game 6 after rough head collision with Jayson Tatum

Cleveland CavaliersKevin Love sits on the court while holding his head during the first half of Game 6 of the team’s NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics, Friday, May 25, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

Sitting on the brink of elimination, the Cleveland Cavaliers are now a man down.

Cavaliers forward Kevin Love left Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics on Friday night in the first quarter after a rough collision with Boston guard Jayson Tatum.

Love initially looked like he was going to set a screen for George Hill, who cut up from the baseline to the 3-point line, but turned his head as Hill ran past. Love’s head then collided with Tatum, sending him to the ground and Tatum stumbling the other way.

Love immediately put his hand up in the air, signaling to the trainers. He left the game and went to the locker room to be further evaluated.

The play happened midway through the first quarter, and Love spent more than a full quarter in the locker room being evaluated. The Associated Press’ Tom Withers reported at halftime that Love would miss the rest of the game, and was being evaluated for a concussion — a tough blow for Cleveland, who trailed Boston 3-2 in the series entering Friday night.

Love has averaged 14.8 points and 10.4 rebounds in the postseason, and provided LeBron James critical help against the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Love’s absence, though, didn’t stop James from keeping the Cavaliers postseason alive. James dropped 46 points and led Cleveland to a 109-99 win, forcing a Game 7 in the series.

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