Forward Gordon Hayward exited Game 1 of the Celtics-Sixers playoff series with an ankle injury and did not return.
While battling for a defensive rebound with just over three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Hayward’s right foot landed awkwardly on the foot of teammate Daniel Theis. Hayward briefly fell to the ground before hopping out of bounds. Theis gained possession of the ball, and the Celtics pushed the ball for an easy layup while Hayward remained off the court by Philadelphia’s basket.
Jaylen Brown then intentionally fouled Sixers guard Alec Burks to stop play. Grimacing, Hayward was helped off the court and immediately visited the locker room. The Celtics diagnosed him with a right ankle sprain and announced he would not be available to return. (Note: The ankle is not the one he fractured in the season-opener in October 2017.)
Gordon Hayward being helped off the court after appearing to injure his ankle. pic.twitter.com/ePanph0cwZ
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) August 18, 2020
After Boston hung on for the 109-101 victory, Celtics coach Brad Stevens did not have an update on the severity of the injury. Hayward, who was spotted leaving the arena with crutches and a boot, did not speak to the media.
“He’s clearly in pain,” Stevens said. “It looked like it had some swelling already.”
In Game 1, Hayward scored 12 points on 5-for-13 shooting.