— Boston Celtics (@celtics) September 19, 2020
ORIGINAL STORY: The Boston Celtics may be getting a big boost on Saturday night as they aim to earn a crucial victory in their conference finals series vs. the Miami Heat.
There is "significant optimism" within the C's organization Gordon Hayward will return from his ankle injury for Game 3, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Hayward has been sidelined since he suffered the injury in Game 1 of Boston's first-round series vs. the Philadelphia 76ers.
Barring a setback in pregame warmups, there’s significant optimism within the Celtics that forward Gordon Hayward (right ankle sprain) will be active to play in Game 3 vs. Miami tonight, sources tell ESPN. After missing a month, Hayward offers a sizable boost for Boston’s bench.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 19, 2020
Assuming Hayward is at full strength, his presence could be a difference-maker for the Celtics as they aim to climb out of their 2-0 series deficit.
Hayward averaged 22 points per game against the Heat during the regular season, the second-highest total on the C's behind only Jaylen Brown (24.7).
Tip-off for Game 3 is set for 8:30 p.m. ET. Be sure to tune in to Celtics Pregame Live on NBC Sports Boston at 7:30 p.m., and Celtics Postgame Live immediately after the final buzzer.