LeBron James said he realized immediately how severe teammate Andrew Bogut’s leg injury was in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ home game on Monday night.

Andrew Bogut Breaks Leg in Cavs Debut, Loss to Heat

“I heard it break,” James claimed. “I heard it crack.”

Bogut, a former No. 1 overall pick, fractured his left tibia less than one minute into his Cavs debut, and his team suffered a 106-98 loss to the Miami Heat.

The Australian center — a former Golden State Warriors star who signed with Cleveland last Thursday— became injured when his leg collided with Heat forward Okaro White’s knee early in the second quarter, just 58 seconds after Bogut stepped on the court.

White immediately hit the floor, while Bogut began hobbling toward the sideline and then eventually went down too, grabbing his left leg in pain before teammates Tristan Thompson and James Jones helped carry him to the locker room.


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The Cavs said Bogut was taken to the Cleveland Clinic for further tests.

“It’s very deflating,” James said. “It’s a tough moment. We all were excited about the acquisition, you know, bring him in here. It’s a tough one, not only obviously for him, first of all, but then for our ballclub.”

Bogut’s injury sent a chill through the Q Arena crowd. The setback for the center, who earlier was cracking jokes about Vladimir Putin and discussing house shopping in his new NBA home, was compounded by the fact that the Cavs were playing without ill coach Tyronn Lue and seemed out of rhythm.

The Cavaliers also lost to the Heat in Miami on Saturday, a game that ended with injured Cavs guard J.R. Smith being restrained and escorted from the floor by security after arguing with Dion Waiters and Heat rookie Rodney McGruder.

On Monday, Waiters scored 29 points, Goran Dragic added 21 and the Heat held off a late rally by the Cavs, who trimmed a 20-point deficit to 103-98 in the final minute.

Perhaps still angry over his altercation with Smith, Waiters scored 24 against his former team in the first half.

”Guys like that, you can’t let them get going,” said Cavs assistant Larry Drew, who sat in for Lue. ”They make a couple shots and the basket starts looking a little bigger and bigger and bigger.”

Bogut, who signed with Cleveland after being waived by the Philadelphia 76ers (who acquired him at the trade deadline from the Dallas Mavericks), is averaging a career-low 3 points this season along with 8.3 rebounds.

The Heat next host Charlotte on Wednesday to begin stretch of seven of eight games at home.

The Cavaliers will begin a three-game trip at Detroit on Thursday.

CLEVELAND, OH – MARCH 06: Andrew Bogut #6 of the Cleveland Cavaliers reacts after getting hurt in the first half while playing the Miami Heat at Quicken Loans Arena on March 6, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio.

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