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Horrific Hayward injury ruins dramatic opening night in the NBA

The Celtics forward suffered a dislocated ankle and broken tibia.

Hayward is treated after his fall.
Hayward is treated after his fall.
Image: Tony Dejak/PA Images

JUST SIX MINUTES into the opening game of the 2017/18 NBA season between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers, Gordon Hayward suffered a gruesome injury that almost certainly ended his year and quite possibly derailed Boston’s season.

It was Hayward’s first game for the Celtics, but jumping for an alley-oop to finish off a Kyrie Irving pass — a player also making his debut — the forward landed awkwardly on his left leg and suffered a dislocated ankle and broken tibia.

If you really must see the injury, that’s what Google is for, but the reaction of the players should tell you all you need to know about how gruesome it was.

Hayward’s absence will have much more far-reaching implications than just last night’s 102-99 loss to last season’s beaten finalists, but it will be key for the likes of Irving and Jaylen Brown — who had 25 points last night — to step up if the Celtics are to challenge for the Eastern conference.

Elsewhere, the defending champion Golden State Warriors thought they’d secured a one-point win over the Houston Rockets as Kevin Durant nailed a buzzer-beater.

However, replays showed the ball was still touching Durant’s fingertips as the clock hit triple zero showing the fine line between winning and losing.

The 122-121 win for the Rockets means the Warriors are just the fourth defending champions to lose their opener the following season since 2000.

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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