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Celtics beat Spurs but lose Hayward to broken left hand

 

 

LOS ANGELES, USA – Boston forward Gordon Hayward fractured his left hand Saturday, November 9 (Sunday, November 10, Philippine time) in the Celtics' 135-115 victory at San Antonio, dimming the joy of improving to 7-1 on the NBA season.

Jaylen Brown scored 30 points, Kemba Walker added 26, Jayson Tatum contributed 19 and Marcus Smart came off the bench for Hayward to add 16 to spark the Celtics' triumph.

Hayward managed 9 points and 2 rebounds in 15 minutes before the injury.

Hayward has been enjoying a stellar season with averages of 20.3 points, a team-high 7.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists a game. He's also hitting 44% from three-point range.

The 29-year-old departed after suffering the injury with 94 seconds remaining in the 2nd quarter in a collision with San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge, who was setting a pick on the play and was whistled for a foul.

Hayward was taken to the locker room and an X-ray confirmed the break.

Hayward spent his first 7 NBA seasons with Utah before joining the Celtics, only to suffer severe leg and ankle injuries in the opening minutes of Boston's 2017-2018 season opener and miss the entire remainder of the campaign.

"This one doesn't feel near as bad as it did two years ago," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "So, he'll be back. Be off for a few weeks or a month or whatever it is."

Stevens said Hayward and the team would have a firmer timeline once he had received further medical advice.

"We're going to get with the doctors tomorrow and decide if he needs to do surgery or not," Stevens said.

"It sounds like, should he decide to do that, surgery option might actually be a better timeline. So we'll see what that all plays out to be. It's too bad."

The Spurs, who fell to 5-4, were led by 22 points from DeMar DeRozan and 20 by Australian reserve guard Patty Mills.

Brown scored 7 points and Tatum added 5 in a 19-3 Boston run after the Spurs scored the game's first 7 points, the Celtics taking a 39-30 lead after the 1st quarter.

Boston stretched the edge to 72-54 at halftime, Brown scoring 20 points in the first half. DeRozan led the Spurs with 14 first-half points. – Rappler.com