The Cleveland Cavaliers announced on Thursday morning that Kevin Love has completed the NBA’s Concussion Return to Play Program, and will be available to play tonight for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Love, the 29-year old forward out of UCLA, had suffered a concussion after a head-to-head collision with Boston Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. He missed Game 7 on Sunday.
The Cavaliers’ second-leading scorer this postseason — averaging 13.8 points per game — is one of just three players on the Cleveland roster to have been on the roster when the Cavaliers played the Warriors in each of the previous three NBA Finals. He did not play in the 2014-15 series after injuring his left shoulder against the Celtics.
In the two NBA Finals series Love has participated in against Golden State, he’s averaged 11.9 points and 8.8 rebounds, shooting 34 percent from three-point range, and 41.3 percent from the floor.
In two regular-season games against the Warriors this season, Love averaged 24 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, shooting 41.2 percent from the field. In the Eastern Conference playoffs, Love averaged 31.1 minutes, shot 38.8 percent from the field, 34.6 percent from three and averaged 10.0 rebounds per game.
The Warriors will be without forward Andre Iguodala (left lateral leg contusion, bone bruise), who won the NBA Finals MVP in 2015 for his defensive work on LeBron James.