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Love in shooting slump during Cavs’ win streak

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Kevin Love is struggling lately with his shooting and Cleveland Cavaliers teammate LeBron James believes he know why.

“I think Kev had some shots that he passed up on,” James said. “Maybe he felt that he just wasn’t in a good rhythm, but I know I hit him with a few (potential) shots after the first quarter where he had some good looks when he decided to swing-swing (with a pass), which is OK. It kept the ball moving.

“So, I think for Kev, I think his confidence maybe shooting the ball is a little down, but for me as a player, I get him good looks. I want him to shoot the ball and he needs to shoot it with confidence.”

During the Cavaliers’ 11-game losing streak, Love is shooting 37 percent from the field and 29 percent on 3-point attempts. He was 1 of 7 from the floor in Cleveland’s 97-84 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.

Still, Love doesn’t necessarily agree with James’ assessment that he’s passing up shots.

“Maybe one look, but it was more so on a swing-swing to (Matthew Dellavedova),” Love said. “I think a guy was closing out on me and I hit Delly and Delly didn’t end up shooting it. But, no, I think I had some good looks in the first quarter — a couple tip-ins that I missed. (Teammate Timofey Mozgov) and I both went for the lob, I thought I had my hand on it, and missed that one. But, you know, getting good looks there. Not for lack of confidence, no.”

Love finished Monday night’s game with five points and 15 rebounds.

“I’m just doing what’s being asked of me,” Love said. “I think I’ve kind of been doing that all year. I’ve been keeping my head up and keeping positive, glass half-full. And I’m just trying to impact the game in other ways as best I can.”

After Monday’s win, Love came back on the floor at Quicken Loans Arena to shoot.

“I just wanted to get some extra shots up,” Love said. “I was either going to go do that or lift after the game, and just went and got them up.”

Love averaged 26.1 points per game last season, which ranked fourth in the NBA, and is at 16.9 this season.