Wednesday night unfolded exactly as the Celtics had hoped. The struggling Bulls came to town, and the Celtics ran them right out of Boston.
The C’s finished with a 111-82 win that accounted for their largest margin of victory of the season. The rout was on starting at the 8:03 mark of the second quarter, when Terry Rozier cashed in on a technical free throw attempt after Zach LaVine was whistled for the infraction.
Boston would go on to score 13 of the game’s next 15 points to build a 42-30 lead. During the 14-2 run, six different Celtics put the ball through the basket.
Rozier got it all started with his free throw before his teammates got involved. Semi Ojeleye soon added in a tip-in layup, and then Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum each canned a 3-pointer to account for Boston’s next three buckets. Al Horford dropped in a smooth, turnaround, fadeaway bucket along the baseline to close out the run at the 4:20 mark that forced Chicago to call a timeout.
But that timeout didn’t do a whole lot for the Bulls. From that moment on, Boston’s lead never dropped below nine and it remained in double-digits for all but 11 seconds the rest of the night.
As was stated, exactly as the Celtics had hoped.
It’s time to shine some well-deserved light on Gordon Hayward. He looked more comfortable Wednesday night than he had all season, and his numbers agreed with the eye test.
Forget about his first half. Let’s concentrate on his second half, when he really found his groove.
Hayward poured in 10 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals during the second half alone, and he did all of that in only 12 minutes and 31 seconds of action. The forward shot 4-for-8 from the field during the HALF, including a 1-for-3 showing from long distance.
This was by far the best Hayward has looked all season, and he looked that way for a long duration of playing time. That’s nothing but a positive for him and the Celtics.
Box Score Nuggets
- All five of Boston's starters scored in double-figures, led by 18 points from Jaylen Brown.
- Boston led by as many as 33 points.
- Zach LaVine, who had scored at least 20 points during 14 straight games to start the season, was limited to only 10 points.
- Aron Baynes neared a double-double with his game-high 11 rebounds that went along with nine points.
- Boston's 15 3-pointers were more than double the amount Chicago made (seven).
- Kyrie Irving tallied 17 points, a game-high seven assists, six rebounds and two steals in just 27-plus minutes of action.
- The Celtics outscored the Bulls by 24 points while Gordon Hayward was on the floor.
- Hayward finished the game with 11 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals.
- Terry Rozier came off the bench to score 12 points for Boston.
- Shaquille Harrison led Chicago in scoring with 16 points.
- The Celtics made three more free throws (12) than the Bulls attempted (nine).
- Harrison grabbed a game-high three steals.
- Boston dished out 27 assists, marking its fourth-highest total of the season.
Quote of the Night
We just need him to be kinda the jack-of-all trades that he is. Find his playing rhythm and transition back into playing at a high level through that.
Brad Stevens on Gordon Hayward.