Basketball

Cavaliers sorely lack Love

Despite LeBron James' 23-point haul, Cleveland fall to Dallas

LeBron James can be somewhat prescient.

The Cleveland Cavaliers' star sang New Edition's Can You Stand The Rain, following Sunday's win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, reported the Inquirer.

The Cavaliers would certainly need to weather the storm for now.

Struggling without star forward Kevin Love, who was sidelined by back spasms, the Cavaliers were downed 104-97 by the Dallas Mavericks yesterday morning (Singapore time).

James led the Cavaliers with 23 points on nine-of-19 shooting, while Kyrie Irving added 18 points and five assists but made six turnovers, only one fewer than the entire Mavericks' squad.

But an up-tempo Dallas attack proved more than the Cavaliers could stand, a night after defeating Oklahoma City.

The Mavericks seized a 100-85 edge with 4:18 to play on a three-pointer by Yogi Ferrell and coasted home from there.

Love, averaging 20.1 points and 11.1 rebounds, stayed home for medical tests on Monday.

NO LOVE AGAIN

No structural damage was found in his back, but he will also miss the Cavaliers' home game against Minnesota tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

It’s very frustrating for him because he puts in a lot of work. Hopefully, things get better for him soon. Cleveland Cavaliers’ star LeBron James, on injured teammate Kevin Love

Asked if he thought the Cavaliers would make a trade for another playmaker as he has sought, James replied: "If it happens, it happens. We've got what we got. We've got to get better every game."

Dallas forward Harrison Barnes had a game-high 24 points and 11 rebounds, and guard Wesley Matthews added 21 points. Ferrell had 19 points and Seth Curry added 16 for 
the Mavericks.

The Cavaliers fell to 32-15, but still remain the top team in the Eastern Conference by 2.5 games over Boston, while the Mavericks rose to 18-30, third-worst in the Western Conference but only four games out of the last West play-off spot.

James, who also had back problems to contend with, sympathised with Love.

Said James, who did exercises to strengthen his back: "It just limits you more than anything. I know it's very frustrating for him because he puts in a lot of work. Hopefully, things get better for him soon."

For the Cavaliers' sake, the sooner the better. - WIRE SERVICES

    • Philadelphia 76ers 122

    Sacramento Kings 119

    • Miami Heat 104

    Brooklyn Nets 96

    • Boston Celtics 113

    Detroit Pistons 109

    • Minnesota Timberwolves 111

    Orlando Magic 105 (OT)

    • Phoenix Suns 96

    Memphis Grizzlies 115

NBAsportsunited states