Boston’s Gordon Hayward leaves game on stretcher after gruesome leg injury

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Gordon Hayward #20 of the Boston Celtics is sits on the floor after being injured while playing the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on October 17, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND– The season opener between the Cavaliers and Celtics paused in the first quarter as Boston’s Gordon Hayward suffered a gruesome break to his left ankle.

Hayward went up for an alley-oop pass midway through the first quarter and fell to the court awkwardly after a small collision with Cleveland’s LeBron James.

Quicken Loans Arena fell silent and several players, including Dwyane Wade, knelt in prayer as medical personnel tended to Hayward.

Hayward had his leg wrapped in an air cast as he exited the arena.

After he was loaded onto the stretcher, LeBron James, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson rushed to give Hayward a pat on the back.

New Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving, who threw the pass, and veteran Marcus Smart were among those visibly distraught at the injury.

Hayward signed a four-year, $128 million max contract in July to make the Celtics the chief competition for the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference.