Posted on January 31, 2018, by Travis Pulver
The season hasn’t gone as well for the Cleveland Cavaliers as their fans had hoped it would. But fans have seen the team struggle in years past and still come out on top. That could still be the case for them this season. But after Tuesday night’s loss to the Detroit Pistons, it is going to be a bit tougher.
Not because they lost the game, but because they lost Kevin Love for the next couple months while he recovers from a broken hand.
The injury occurred early in the first quarter. Love came into contact with Pistons center Andre Drummond under the basket. He doubled over in pain while clutching his hand before subbing out with over seven minutes left in the quarter.
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He was taken to the locker room by the training staff. An x-ray taken at the arena revealed a non-displaced fracture in the fifth metacarpal— which means he had a broken hand. It was the same hand he had surgery on back in 2009 that required three screws to be inserted.
LeBron James spoke about losing Love for the immediate future after the game (ESPN):
“It’s just unfortunate for our team. Obviously, with everything (that’s) been going on as of late with our ballclub, just trying to figure out how we’re going to play every night, different lineups, and getting everybody into the flow, we don’t need to have Kev go out like that. He’s going to be out for quite a while — maybe two months — so it’s just tough.”
Cleveland did not look the greatest after love left the game and ended up falling behind, 33-27, after the first quarter. They slowly whittled away at Detroit’s lead in the second, until an Isaiah Thomas three-pointer put Cleveland up, 50-49, with 4:56 to play in the quarter.
The Cavs ended up taking a 63-59 lead into halftime.
But in the second half, the momentum belonged to the Pistons. Detroit took the lead a few minutes into the third and extended it out to ten-points. But Cleveland was able to narrow it down to five entering the fourth, 89-84.
The Cavaliers were able to get within two in the fourth quarter. But they were unable to retake the lead. The Pistons led by as much as 15 but won the game by 11 points, 125-114, breaking their 8-game losing streak.
Detroit had all five starters score in double figures led by Stanley Johnson’s 26 points (and ten rebounds. But the performance of the night belonged to Drummond who had 21 points and 22 rebounds.
LeBron James led the way for the Cavaliers with 21 points followed by Channing Frye who had 20 off the bench. Cleveland’s bench outscored its starters, 62-52.
As if things were not already going poorly for the Cavaliers– right? Not only have they lost 11 of their last 16, but now they have to figure out how to replace Kevin Love. It remains to be seen if the team will look within to fill the void or seek help via trade or free agency. They will be back in action Wednesday night with a home game against the Miami Heat.
Detroit will have a night off before facing the Memphis Grizzlies Thursday night.