OAKLAND, Calif.—Kevin Love lay on the court grabbing the back of his head after taking an elbow from Harrison Barnes.
The Cleveland Cavaliers’ forward tried to gut it out before pulling himself from the game.
But the woozy Love wasn’t the only Cavalier who looked to be a daze as the Golden State Warriors may have delivered the knockout blow in the NBA Finals, as well.
Love was limited to 20 minutes because of the head injury as the Cavaliers were taken apart in a 110-77 loss last night to fall behind 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.
LeBron James had 19 points, nine assists, eight rebounds, and seven turnovers—and the Cavaliers now head back to Cleveland with a mountain to climb.
And it’s unclear whether Love will be available to help.
“It’s hard for me to pinpoint what’s not working and what could work right now,” James said.
“Obviously not much is working.”
Barnes hit Love in the back of the head with an inadvertent elbow while going for a rebound in the second quarter.
Love was on the ground grabbing the back of his head for several minutes and was examined on the bench during the ensuing time-out.
He returned to the game, finished the first half, and started the third quarter before heading back to the locker-room.
The NBA said he experienced dizziness after playing in the third quarter and has been placed in the league’s concussion protocol.
The league and the Cavaliers say Love did not immediately exhibit symptoms of a concussion in the first half or at halftime that would have caused him to be removed immediately.
Love missed the final seven games of the 2011-12 season with the Minnesota Timberwolves because of a concussion.
Game 3 isn’t until Wednesday, so he has two days to be fully evaluated and examined.
Love finished the game with five points on 2-for-7 shooting in just under 21 minutes.
“At halftime he showed no symptoms,” Cavs’ coach Tyronn Lue stressed.
“You could see in a time-out he looked kind of woozy.”
Kyrie Irving, meanwhile, had another poor shooting night for the Cavs. He had 10 points abut missed nine of his 14 shots while also getting torched on the defensive end of the floor.
He is now just 12-for-36 in the first two games of the Finals.
Draymond Green led Golden State with 28 points and seven rebounds while Stephen Curry fought foul trouble for most of the game, but finished with 18 points and nine assists.
Klay Thompson scored 17 points as the “Splash Brothers” went 8-for-16 on three-pointers after struggling in their Game 1 victory Thursday night.
Even with a fully-healthy roster this time, the Cavaliers were going to be underdogs in a series against the defending champs who set the single-season record for wins with 73.
But now they’re in an 0-2 hole—and the task of delivering the first sports championship to Cleveland in 52 years seems much more daunting.
Lue said the Cavaliers are not discouraged, they’re more upset than anything.
“We’ve got to be tougher,” Lue stressed.
A team has jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the finals 31 times and that team has gone on to win the title 28 of those times.
The Miami Heat were the last team to rally from an 0-2 hole in the Finals when they beat Dallas in 2006.