Gordon Hayward turned in his best performance of the season Saturday night.
The Boston Celtics forward scored a season-high 30 points with eight assists and nine rebounds in Boston’s 118-109 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Hayward also was a perfect 10-for-10 at the free-throw line.
It was assumed Hayward eventually would heat up and be the player many know him to be, but it’s taken a quarter of the 2018-19 campaign for him to turn a corner after suffering a gruesome ankle/leg injury last season. If you ask teammate Marcus Morris, though, he knew a big game from Hayward was on the horizon.
Morris admitted the team was going hard at Hayward during Wednesday’s practice and everyone could see he was beginning to grow angry, especially after he and Marcus Smart got tangled up with one another.
“He just got red at one point,” Morris told MassLive’s Tom Westerholm. “He was really upset. He was going really hard. … Any time Smartie gets tangled up with somebody, it’s good. I’ve been waiting to see that side of (Hayward) for a little bit now.”
Hayward certainly responded.
He scored 14 points with four rebounds and as many assists in the Celtics’ blowout win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday before dominating the Timberwolves the following night. Hayward seems to have found his groove over the last two games, and he’ll look to carry that into Thursday’s matchup against the New York Knicks at TD Garden.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images