KEY POINTS

  • Kevin Love left for the locker room early in their Monday night loss to Toronto
  • The Cleveland Cavs star was visibly frustrated in one play during the game
  • Love's knee was apparently hurt in the game, causing his actions

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love made rounds on social media following his team's deflating 112-96 loss to the Toronto Raptors last Monday.

After a made basket by the Raptors, the visibly-frustrated Cavs star angrily smashed the ball in the ensuing inbounds instead of locating a teammate.

This led to a turnover and a triple from Toronto, which extended the lead to 11 and ran away in the fourth frame for a big win.

His actions left the Cavs perplexed afterwards. Love was also blamed heavily for the way the Cavs lost, as noted in Chris Fedor's cleveland.com column.

"That ridiculous sequence ended with a backbreaking three-pointer and nine-point Toronto lead. The Raptors added one more bucket, pushing ahead by 11 going into the fourth quarter. Game over," Fedor wrote, adding a source deemed Love's actions as "unacceptable."

"In 45.2 seconds, thanks to Love’s outburst, the Cavs went from down four to trailing by 11. Love didn’t play the rest of the game. He exited for the locker room before the final buzzer."

Thankfully, more details on social media provided more context on what happened. 

The 2016 NBA champion was apparently hit in the knee in a previous rebound play, with the referees not calling anything.

Already hurt, Love's frustration mounted and became an eventual tantrum on the other end of the floor.

The forward left for the locker room even before the final buzzer sounded, confirming he was hurt.

Even his younger teammate, Darius Garland, admitted he wasn't aware of what transpired in real-time.

The second-year pro later downplayed Love's emotions as part of the game, understandably.

"Something like that happens, we just have to get on to the next play. That was just a little breakdown that he had, it was nothing serious," Garland disclosed.

"He got whacked on one end and he got whacked on the defensive end and they didn’t call it," he added. "He just got frustrated, that was it.”

Furthermore, it hasn't been a fruitful return for Love, who has appeared in only 18 games this year with averages of 11.7 points and 6.4 rebounds on 39.8% field goals.

He suffered a high-grade calf strain that forced him out for much of the season.

Add to that being part of a rebuilding process just years after constantly winning in the East alongside co-star LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.

One thing is certain: Love does not make excuses on the court. 

If ever odd events do occur, there are underlying reasons, like the veteran's panic attack in 2017 which caused him to be hospitalized.

Love has since been an advocate for mental health wellness, using his basketball platform to inspire others.

Kevin Love Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on during the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Oct. 19, 2018. Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images