The Boston Celtics had Gordon Hayward’s back in more ways than one Wednesday night.
Hayward, playing in Utah against his former team for the second time since leaving for Boston in free agency, heard boos from the salty Salt Lake City crowd. And while Hayward certainly didn’t have his best night — 12 points on 4-for-12 shooting — his Celtics teammates did enough to get the win, and thus help him get the last laugh.
They were clearly happy to do so.
âIt always feels good to come back where you started and to hear that crowd booing and to come out and win,” Marcus Smart said postgame, as transcribed by NBC Sports Boston. “They can’t say anything.”
After another dominant performance, Jayson Tatum added he was “happy we got this win for G (Hayward)” while center Enes Kanter called the fact Hayward was getting booed “a little silly.”
“One thing about Gordon, before heâs a good basketball player, heâs a really good teammate,” Kanter said. “So, itâs just a little silly that he gets all the boos still. I donât think itâs hate anymore. Itâs just, theyâre just enjoying it.”
Hayward played seven seasons for the Jazz from 2010-2017.
He and the Celtics will return to the court Saturday to host the Houston Rockets at 8:30 p.m. ET at TD Garden.