Kevin Love called it quits on the Cavs on Monday.
During the Cavaliers’ 112-96 loss to the Raptors on the road, Love — who went to inbound the ball — slapped a pass from an official onto the court, where it became live. Toronto’s Stanley Johnson grabbed the gifted turnover and passed the ball to Malachi Flynn, who easily sank an uncontested 3.
The sequence occurred with 29.4 seconds remaining in the third quarter, part of a 7-0 Raptors run that helped them to an 81-70 lead heading into the fourth. Cleveland only trailed 76-70 before Love committed the turnover. He did not play in the fourth quarter and left before the final buzzer sounded, finishing with 11 points and seven rebounds in the loss.
Love’s play was the lowlight of a game in which Cleveland, down seven players, dropped to 21-40 on the season and 13th in the Eastern Conference standings. The Cavaliers have lost three straight, six of their last seven and eight of their last 10 and will miss the playoffs for the third year in a row.
Coach J.B. Bickerstaff quickly addressed the sequence in his postgame news conference, saying Love apologized to teammates and that the team would move on.
“You’ll have to ask Kevin,” Bickerstaff said when asked about the play in postgame (via Cleveland.com). “We talked about it. He apologized to his teammates for it and we’ll move on.”