Los Angeles: Boston forward Gordon Hayward fractured his left hand Saturday 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 nine points and two 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 percent from three-point range.
The 29-year-old departed after suffering the injury with 94 seconds remaining in the second 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 seven NBA seasons with Utah before joining the Celtics, only to suffer severe leg and ankle injuries in the opening minutes of Boston's 2017-18 season opener and miss the entire remainder of the campaign.
While Hayward has averaged 11.5 points a game this season, it wasn't until the past few games when he appeared to have fully shaken off the impact of the 2017 injuries.
"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."
Thunder thwart Warriors
For the second time in two weeks, the Oklahoma City Thunder proved too much for Golden State, thwarting the Warriors' comeback bid to triumph 114-108.
The injury-hit Warriors, thrashed 120-92 by the Thunder on 27 October, trailed by as many as 23 in the second quarter but had pulled level through three quarters and inched ahead by two points in the opening minutes of the fourth.
But the Thunder responded with a nine-point run that started with Chris Paul's driving layup and ended with his pull-up jumper.
Paul scored eight points in the last 1:16 as the Thunder sealed the win.
"It's winning time," Paul said of his late burst. "You try to be aggressive and fortunately my teammates got me loose."
Danilo Galinari led the Thunder with 21 points. Paul and Dennis Schroder scored 16 apiece, centre Brad Stevens added 13 and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 12 as Oklahoma City withstood a 32-point performance from D'Angelo Russell — who had scored 52 in the Warriors' overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.
Elsewhere, the Houston Rockets thumped the Bulls in Chicago 117-94. James Harden scored 42 points with 10 rebounds and nine assists and Russell Westbrook added 26 points for Houston, who won their third straight game.
In Charlotte, Brandon Ingram scored 25 points to lead six New Orleans players in double figures as the Pelicans notched their first road win of the season 115-110 over the Hornets.
Ingram pulled down nine rebounds and New Orleans overcame 26 turnovers to notch just their second win overall in a season in which they've had to make do without overall top draft pick Zion Williamson — who had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee shortly before the campaign began.
Ingram scored 10 of his 25 in the fourth quarter to help the Pelicans pull away in a game that was knotted at 95-95 with five minutes remaining.
"We kept fighting tonight," said JJ Redick, wo made five three-pointers on the way to 22 points for the Pelicans. "We just stuck together."
Updated Date: Nov 10, 2019 12:45:57 IST