18 Oct 2017

Celtic's $40 million signing breaks ankle

7:06 pm on 18 October 2017

The luck of the Irish has deserted the Boston Celtics as their star $40 million dollar recruit Gordon Hayward broke his ankle just minutes into their season opening loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward Photo: Supplied

Boston entered the NBA season on a high but it took less than six minutes for them to crash when Gordon Hayward, one of their star recruits, broke his ankle in a sickening incident.

Hayward climbed high to collect an alley-oop pass in the first quarter, collided with the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James and fell awkwardly on his left leg in the season opener.

Celtics forward Gordon Hayward collides with LeBron James

Celtics forward Gordon Hayward collides with LeBron James Photo: Supplied

A hush fell over Cleveland's home arena and players from both teams, including James, grimaced as they realised Hayward's gruesome injury was likely to end his season.

Celtics players gathered in a huddle to regroup.

"You hurt for him," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.

"It's a tough, tough deal, but I guess that's part of the risk of injury. I really feel for him."

Cleveland went on to win 102-99, with James scoring 29 points to go with 16 rebounds and nine assists.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to Gordon's family," James said. "Hope for a speedy recovery, a healthy recovery.

The Houston Rockets spoilt the start of Golden State Warriors bid for three NBA titles in four years by coming back to beat the NBA champions by one point in their season opening game.

The Warriors led for all the game to be pipped 122-121 at home in Oakland.