NBA Opening Night: Cavs outlast Celtics in close finish despite Gordon Hayward injury

The Cavaliers overcame the Celtics on opening night, 102-99, but that wasn't the story on everybody's mind. Early in the first quarter, Gordon Hayward went down with a gruesome leg injury. It was later on diagnosed as a fractured ankle, but at the time all anybody could think of was Hayward's health. Boston was clearly rattled by the injury and went into halftime down to Cleveland.

In the second half, after the Celtics had time to compose themselves, Boston went on a run to quickly close the gap and erase an 18-point deficit. The two sides looked evenly matched through most of the second half with former teammates LeBron James and Kyrie Irving trading blows. With less than two minutes left everything came down to the wire.

Kevin Love hit the eventual go-ahead 3-pointer, but the Celtics had a chance to tie with James guarding Irving. The shot came up short and afterward Irving and James hugged. Cleveland got the win and Irving caught up with his former teammates. 

The Hayward news is hard to get over and his health is all anybody can think of when looking at Tuesday's score, but there were encouraging signs for Boston moving forward. They looked great in the second half and Boston had good performances out of their young guys. The Celtics will definitely be a force in the Eastern Conference this season.

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