Kevin Love returns to Cavaliers, will start Thursday night vs. Jazz

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Since Kevin Love was sidelined just before the All-Star break to have surgery to remove “a loose body” from his left knee, the Cleveland Cavaliers have gone just 7-6. Their rebounding has been an issue, but also the team missed the consistency of Love’s shot and his floor spacing as well.

They will miss it no longer — he will be back Thursday night in Utah, coach Tyronn Lue announced.

This is a huge boost for a Cleveland team trying to hold off Boston and retain the No. 1 seed in the East.

Before his injury, Love had been having his best season as a Cavalier, averaging 20 points and 11.1 rebounds a game. He found a comfort zone playing off the ball more with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving — the Cavaliers were 11.5 points per 100 possessions better with Love on the court than off it this season (although there is a lot of noise in that because he plays so much with LeBron and Irving). It took time, but Love adapted his game to fit with the Cavaliers, such as taking more corner threes — 2.6 per game — than he had at any point in his career.