Steph Curry, Dwight Howard and more send prayers and wishes to injured Gordon Hayward

Sport360 staff 13:19 18/10/2017
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The new NBA season was less than six minutes old when disaster struck for the Boston Celtics on Tuesday in the form of a gruesome ankle injury to forward Gordon Hayward.

Hayward suffered a dislocated and broken left ankle in the Celtics’ 102-99 loss to the Cavaliers in Cleveland.

The former Utah star, who inked a four-year, $128 million deal with the Celtics in the off-season, landed hard 5:15 into the game after a leaping cut to the basket, trying to catch an alley-oop pass from Kyrie Irving.

Players from both teams looked shocked as Hayward, his ankle turned at a sickening angle, was attended by medical staff and rushed off on a stretcher.

Irving, the former Cavaliers star who landed in Boston after a shock off-season trade request, said it was one of the worst injuries he’d ever seen.

“It’s not a great sight to see,” Irving said.

Irving’s return to Cleveland was supposed to be the story of the night.

He was booed lustily by Cavaliers fans — including when he lofted a shot over superstar LeBron James for the season’s first basket.

James said he had plenty of fond memories of playing alongside Irving, reaching three straight NBA Finals and winning a title with him in 2016.

“But once the ball went up, it was kind of back to our regularly scheduled program,” James said.

The Cavs led 54-38 at half-time and stretched the lead to 61-43 early in the third quarter.

The Celtics fought back and were up 98-95 before Kevin Love made two free throws, James followed with a layup and then assisted on Love’s three-pointer that gave Cleveland a 102-98 lead. Irving missed a driving shot and a three-pointer at the buzzer and the Cavs prevailed.

James scored 29 points with 16 rebounds and nine assists — but said he still needs to work on his fitness after missing most of the pre-season with a sprained left ankle.

He also said it would take some time before he, Love and new additions Derrick Rose and Dwayne Wade, are operating together at full capacity.

“We’ve got some things we need to figure out,” James said. “It’s a work in progress, for sure.”

The online community rushed to wish Hayward a speedy recovery. Here’s a sample of the reaction…

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