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Kevin Love exits after taking elbow to his face, monitored for concussion

MIAMI -- Kevin Love received an inadvertent elbow to the face that forced him out of the Cleveland Cavaliers' 98-79 loss to the Miami Heat on Tuesday.

Love was called for a blocking foul less than two minutes into the game when he collided with Heat center Jordan Mickey. Mickey's elbow struck Love in the mouth, causing him to immediately retreat to the locker room for evaluation.

"The only update is, when he got hit in the mouth in the first half, we saw there was some blood coming from his mouth. I believe it was his tooth," Cavs acting head coach Larry Drew said. "They took him back, and he came back out in the first half. After halftime we just made the decision to hold him out."

The Cavs determined Love suffered a front tooth subluxation -- meaning the tooth is loose, but not displaced -- and he sat out the remainder of the first quarter before trying to give it a go to start the second quarter.

Love showed some concussion-like symptoms at halftime, according to a team spokesman, and was held out of the second half of the game for precautionary reasons.

Love will be re-evaluated on Wednesday morning, according to the team, at which point a determination will be made if he needs to enter the concussion protocol. His status for the Charlotte Hornets game is undetermined at this time.

He played six minutes in the second quarter and was largely ineffective -- going 0-for-2 from the field with a rebound and a turnover, while racking up a plus-minus of minus-10. His total stat line for the game was 1 point, 1 rebound, 1 turnover and 2 fouls in seven minutes.

Rodney Hood started the second half in Love's place.

"Obviously his production when he went out early, he tried to come back but wasn't feeling it," said LeBron James. "His production we lost right in the beginning but then what hurt us more was our rotations was kind of just out of disarray. We had a great rotation thing down the last few games and for a guy to go down that early, it kind of messed that up. Our rhythm was broken right from the beginning. ... Not having Kev out there to kind of stretch the floor for us, that definitely hurt us."

The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Cavs, whose lead over the Philadelphia 76ers for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference was cut to just half a game with eight games left on their regular-season schedule.

"We've got another one tomorrow in less than 24 hours," James said. "We play at 7 o'clock tomorrow. We're already kind of behind the 8-ball so we've got to start getting our minds set from Charlotte. We're going to learn from these mistakes, probably watch some film tomorrow on it, but we've got to get ready for Charlotte."