Richard Jefferson to start in place of Kevin Love for Cavaliers in Game 3 of the Finals

richard jefferson

CLEVELAND — Earlier on Wednesday, the Cleveland Cavaliers ruled Kevin Love out for Game 3 of the NBA Finals. After taking an elbow to the head in the first half of the Cavs’ Game 2 blowout loss to the Golden State Warriors, Love was diagnosed with a concussion and doctors did not clear him for Game 3.

Cavs coach Ty Lue said before the game that Richard Jefferson will start in Love’s place. LeBron James will move to power forward, playing alongside Tristan Thompson in the frontcourt.

“We like [Jefferson’s] physicality and ability to move without the ball,” Lue said. Jefferson scored 12 points on 4-for-6 shooting in 26 minutes in the Cavs’ Game 2 loss, after playing just 12 minutes in Game 1.

Lue didn’t know whether Love will be available for Game 4 on Friday. Love pushed hard to play Wednesday, but was not cleared by the team’s medical staff.

“You have to go through the protocol,” Lue said. “We know Kevin wants to play. He’s eager to play, he’s frustrated that he can’t play. But that’s the protocol, that’s what we have to do to protect players.”