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Report: Cavaliers stated plan to avenge Kevin Love’s injury

Cavaliers Celtics Basketball

After taking a hard foul from Cleveland Cavaliers center Kendrick Perkins (3), Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder (99) is separated from Perkins teammates and floor official late in second quarter of a first-round NBA playoff basketball game in Boston, Sunday, April 26, 2015. Crowder was involved in two physical plays during the game. First, he was shoved by Perkins and both drew technical fouls. Then he left the game with a sprained left knee when he was knocked down as J.R. Smith swung his arm backward while jostling for a rebound early in the third quarter. (Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT; BOSTON HERALD OUT, QUINCY OUT; NO SALES


Update: Here are Maxwell’s comments (hat tip: Jay King of MassLive):

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I talked to some of the Cavalier players, and one of the things they mentioned to me, they said, ‘Look, what happened to Kevin Love, we’re going to retaliate.’ And I think that might have happened when Perk came in the game, the hard foul. And also, at the same time, it could have happened, really, with Crowder, because they banged him around pretty good. So, they might have been sending a message back.”

No mention of this happening at halftime, but otherwise, the substance matches the paraphrase below.

Kevin Love got hurt while tangling with Kelly Olynyk, an injury Love later said Olynyk deliberately caused.

By halftime, the Cavaliers surely knew what happened.

Joe Giza of WBZ-TV:

Maxwell played for the Celtics and now serves as color commentator on the team’s radio broadcast. Why would the Cavaliers tell him they planned to retaliate?

It’s hard to buy that multiple Cavaliers did – and I’d really like to hear Maxwell’s exact comments rather than rely on this second-hand account, but I have yet to find them available online – but I believe one Cavalier would: Kendrick Perkins, who played for the Celtics.

And Perkins would know Cleveland’s intentions if they were revenge-oriented, because he’s the team’s enforcer.

The circumstantial evidence certainly backs it. It took Perkins less than a minute of court time to pick a fight with Jae Crowder:

And J.R. Smith later knocked Crowder from the game:

Plus, Perkins re-entered the game as soon as Olynyk went to the scorers’ table in the second half.

If the Cavaliers didn’t seek to even the score after Love’s injury, they had a funny way of showing it – regardless of what anyone told Maxwell.