Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love has completed the NBA's program to return from a concussion and was in the starting lineup for Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, the team announced.
Love was still in the league's concussion protocol as of Wednesday afternoon. He was injured during a head-to-head collision with Boston Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Love did participate in shooting drills with his teammates during the open portion of Cleveland's practice session Wednesday.
"His approach has been great the last couple of days,'' Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. "I'm happy for him.''
He missed the entire 2015 Finals after suffering a dislocated shoulder earlier in the playoffs that year.
Jeff Green filled in admirably in Love's absence, averaging 16.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in the Cavs' wins in Games 6 and 7 over Boston; however, Lue said Wednesday that Love would start if he were cleared to play.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he was pleased to see Love cleared for Game 1.
"It didn't surprise me,'' Kerr said. "I'm glad he's playing. We want everybody playing, everybody healthy and out there competing.''
Love is averaging 13.9 points on 38.8 percent shooting, 10.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game during the 2018 postseason. In two regular-season matchups with Golden State this season, he averaged 24.0 points and 12.5 rebounds.
Information from ESPN's Dave McMenamin and The Associated Press was used in this report.
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