The Boston Celtics’ already thin depth took a hit with Gordon Hayward’s sprained right ankle that will sideline the starting forward for about four weeks.
The team called it a Grade III sprain on Tuesday afternoon.
Hayward sustained the injury with 3:08 remaining in the fourth quarter of Monday’s 109-101 victory over Philadelphia in Game 1 of their first-round series. Hayward was trying to grab a rebound when he landed on teammate Daniel Theis’ foot and twisted his ankle.He exited the game and then left the arena on crutches with his foot in a walking boot.
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The Celtics received outstanding play from Jayson Tatum (32 points), Jaylen Brown (29 points) and Kemba Walker (19 points), but they played six players at least 25 minutes, including five with at least 31 minutes. Just two other players received more than 10 minutes.
While the Celtics won, they squandered a 10-point lead late in the fourth quarter and had a 103-100 lead with 59.1 seconds left.
Game 2 is Wednesday (6:30 p.m. ET, TNT).
Follow USA TODAY Sports NBA reporter Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt
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