Trail Blazers’ Deandre Ayton suffers hand sprain vs. Heat

Portland Trail Blazers Deandre Ayton suffers hand sprain vs Miami Heat

USA Today Network

Portland Trail Blazers center Deandre Ayton exited the first half of Tuesday night’s 106-96 loss to the Miami Heat after spraining his right hand on a hard fall in the paint.

Trail Blazers coach Chauncey Billups said that X-rays on Ayton’s hand came back negative after he collided with Miami’s Kevin Love late in the first quarter and landed on his right hand behind his back.

Referring to a couple of NBA betting sites, the Trail Blazers hold 14th-ranked odd to make the playoffs in the Western Conference. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets.

“I think there will be some further testing because he was in quite a bit of pain,” Billups added. “I thought [Ayton] dominated that first half. Offensively, defensively, he dominated the game.”

Of course, Ayton recorded 12 points and 10 rebounds in 19 minutes of action in the first half. It was his third straight double-double and fifth in six games. However, the Trail Blazers ruled him out late in the third quarter.

Portland Trail Blazers center Deandre Ayton is shooting a career-best 82.4% at the foul line

Furthermore, rookie big Duop Reath replaced the 7-footer as starter. Though, the LSU product was held scoreless and went on to finish with three rebounds in less than 13 minutes played.

Through 40 games (all starts) this season, Ayton is averaging 14.3 points, 10.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, a career-high 1.1 steals, and 31.6 minutes per game. He’s shooting 57% from the field and a career-best 82.4% at the foul line as well.

Additionally, the six-year veteran ranks 15th in field goal percentage this season, 11th in total rebound percentage (18.9%), 16th in offensive rebound percentage (10.2%), and eighth in defensive rebound percentage (28.9%).

In Portland’s 112-103 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Feb. 4, he notched a season-high 27 points, nine rebounds, four assists, one steal, and two blocks in 38 minutes played.