Kevin Love adds to Cavs' injury woes

ATLANTA -- The Cleveland Cavaliers, who have been hit hard the past week by the injury bug, took another blow Tuesday night with Kevin Love joining the ranks of the ailing.

The Cavs made it through the first month of the season relatively unscathed.

But in the span of seven days, Anderson Varejao was lost to season-ending Achilles surgery, Kyrie Irving missed two games because of a bone bruise in his left knee, and LeBron James (sore left knee), Shawn Marion (sore left ankle) and Love (back spasms) all were forced out of the Cavs' 109-101 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday.

While James and Marion didn't suit up for the game, Love played 24 mostly ineffective minutes before subbing out with 2:12 remaining in the third quarter and heading to the locker room.

He finished with seven points on 1-for-8 shooting and seven rebounds.

"My back didn't feel too great before the game, but it's just one of those things where it locked up on me," Love said after the game, noting that the same thing occurred during a game last month.

The Cavs play the second night of a back-to-back Wednesday in Cleveland against the Milwaukee Bucks. Love is hopeful he will be able to return to the lineup.

"I had one game earlier this year where it was a spasm but played through it and came back and played the next day, so I'm hoping it's the same thing, flying back [and playing] tomorrow night," Love said.

The All-Star forward also played the game against the Hawks with a compression sleeve on his right leg after being kicked by Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings in the Cavs' 103-80 loss to Detroit on Sunday.

"We just all need to stop fighting this battle of attrition and all get back on the court," Love said.

Coach David Blatt commended Cleveland's effort in the face of such a diminished roster in Atlanta, although the Cavs suffered their third loss in their past four games.

"I really thought we came out and we competed," Blatt said. "I really thought you saw a team that was together despite missing 50 percent of the normal rotation and I thought against a very, very good team by all accounts we had our chances to win the game, which we missed. But certainly a good effort, a team effort, a team that was together and fighting and a team that had a chance to win despite the losses that we suffered in terms of the injuries."