What a 24-hour period it has been for Gordon Hayward.
Tuesday night, he poured in a game-high 30 points off the bench to help Boston hand the Golden State Warriors their worst home loss during the Steve Kerr era.
Then Wednesday night, he delivered a dramatic, off-balance game-winner to help the shorthanded Celtics defeat the Kings in Sacramento.
The C’s, who were without leading scorer Kyrie Irving (left thigh contusion), had a 3-point lead over Sacramento with under 10 seconds remaining. The Kings, however, were given an extra life as Hayward fouled Buddy Hield on a 3-point shot at the 7.6-second mark. Hield, an 87 percent free-throw shooter on the season, knocked down all three freebies to knot the game at 109-109.
Hayward more than made up for his mistake on Boston’s next and final possession of the game.
Following Hield’s final make from the line, Marcus Morris inbounded the ball straight to Hayward, who turned up-court like a man on a mission. Hield picked Hayward up at around mid-court, but Hayward was able to explode past him on a hesitation move at the top of the 3-point arc. As soon as Hayward reached the left side of the restricted area, he pulled up, and while falling to his left, buried a contested, go-ahead bucket with two seconds remaining.
Harrison Barnes would clank a 30-footer off the glass on Sacramento’s last possession, securing a 111-109 win for Boston. It was all thanks again to their hero in Hayward.
Gordon Hayward may have been the hero on Boston's last possession, but Al Horford was the hero of the night for the Celtics.
Horford led the C's in most major statistical categories, including rebounds (11), assists (seven) and blocked shots (one).
His 21 points on an efficient 8-of-10 shooting and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line were also just three points shy of Jayson Tatum's team-high tally of 24 points.
Boston's veteran center also logged a game-best plus/minus rating of plus-18, while logging an impressive 31 minutes of action on the second night of a back-to-back.
Box Score Nuggets
- Jayson Tatum and Harrison Barnes paced the scoring for their respective teams with 24 points apiece.
- Al Horford logged the game's only double-double, tallying 21 points and 11 rebounds.
- Horford also dished out a team-high seven assists and logged Boston's only blocked shot.
- Both teams made 40 field goals, though Boston took one less attempt (79) than Sacramento (80).
- Gordon Hayward (12 points) and Jaylen Brown (10 points) accounted for all of Boston's bench points.
- Sacramento's bench logged only 13 points in total.
- Harry Giles corralled as many offensive rebounds (three) as Boston notched as an entire
- If Marcus Smart had scored one more point, all 10 of the game's starters would've reached double-figures in scoring.
- Smart made his presence felt more on the defensive end, as he snagged a game-high five steals
- Boston's starters shot 16-of-16 from the free-throw line.
Quote of the Night
He should have plenty of confidence. He’s a heck of a player and we all believe in him.
Brad Stevens on Gordon Hayward.