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Cavs' Kevin Love returns from knee injury

Cavs' Kevin Love returns from knee injury

Love, who was expected to miss six weeks, played his first game in a month on Thursday in a 91-83 win over the Utah Jazz, scoring 10 points and collecting nine rebounds in 20 minutes. And with only 15 games left before the playoffs begin, it's starting to become disconcerting because Cleveland will also be looking to mix in rest for its stars in that time frame to save their legs for another postseason trek. Cleveland has won four of the last five meetings and seven of nine at Staples.

The Jazz managed to tie the game early in the third before LeBron James took over and put the Cavs back up by eight.

Greg Swartz is the Cleveland Cavaliers Lead Writer for Bleacher Report.

On a deeper level, however, there's the fact that the Cavaliers defense fell off a table since Love went down.

Kyrie Irving had 21 points before sitting out the fourth quarter due to tightness in his left knee. The Cavaliers were able to come away with a big win against perhaps the most underrated team in the league. Last night, Sanders appeared in his first National Basketball Association game in over two years, appearing in the final minutes of a blowout win over the Detroit Pistons and drawing a positive ovation from the home crowd.

James knew it was up to him to carry the Cavs in the fourth quarter. Twenty-six seconds later, with Love having played almost 20 minutes, coach Tyronn Lue pulled him for J.R. Smith.

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10 and 9 - Yes, Kevin Love was back!

James led the way for the Cavs, winners of two in a row to improve to 45-22, with 33 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. While not on a set minutes restriction, it seemed that Love was only allowed about 20 minutes. "But it's just good to have him back on the floor".

With that said, Love's return will certainly help boost the Cavaliers through the dog days of March, and his impact should not be underplayed.

With so much attention delivered to Russell Westbrook's triple-doubles on a sixth-place team or James Harden's hopped-up stats in Mike D'Antoni's offense, James is quietly putting together the best statistical season of his career. There's something about playing for LeBron James's teams that tends to work out for misfit players - just ask Chris Anderson or JR Smith. As you can imagine, they didn't necessarily want to rush s guy who hasn't played an National Basketball Association game since December 2014. The Cavaliers then play the Los Angeles Lakers, the Denver Nuggets, and the Charlotte Hornets.

Love actually has the best net rating on the Cavaliers, further evidence of his importance to their success.