Gordon Hayward probably likes playing against the Minnesota Timberwolves, to say the least.
In the Boston Celtics’ 127-117 in Minnesota on Friday, the forward led the balanced offense (among starters, at least) with 29 points, six rebounds and five assists shooting 12-for-17 from the field.
He was just one-point shy of achieving four-straight 30-point games against the Timberwolves.
“G (Hayward) really played great tonight,” Jayson Tatum said of his teammate on NBC Boston’s postgame coverage. “He hit some big shots in some big moments to really keep us afloat, ’cause I was struggling.”
By struggling, Tatum means going 8-for-21 from the field. He still racked up 28 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double, but Jaylen Brown and Daniel Theis each dropped 25 points in support.
With Kemba Walker out Friday, Gordon led the charge in everyone stepping up in the guard’s absence.
“I mean, (Hayward’s) had a good year, but certainly whenever we have somebody out the others guys step up, and just do what they’re capable of doing and so, we needed it tonight.” coach Brad Stevens said.
“He was really good and the plays that he makes when everything is going crazy, and you could get rattled, or the other team is coming back, those plays are really hard to make. And so, I thought he did a lot of good things tonight. But he’s been good all year.”
This season, Hayward is averaging 17.3 points per game with 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists.