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Keys to the Game: Celtics 119, Cavaliers 113

Taylor Snow
Team Reporter

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Key Moment

Gordon Hayward made a career-high 17 field goals Tuesday night in Cleveland, and it was his final shot that mattered most.

With a little less than 30 seconds remaining, the Celtics found themselves barely hanging onto a 116-113 lead at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Kemba Walker rose up from 3-point land in an attempt to double Boston’s lead over the Cavaliers, but the attempt clanged off the front of the rim.

Kevin Love, who entered the night leading the NBA in defensive rebounding, was positioned perfectly in front of the basket to grab the board, but Hayward came sprinting in from the left corner and managed to snatch the ball out of the air.

With Love caught off guard, Hayward was left wide open under the hoop for an easy put-back lay-up, which put Boston ahead 118-113 with 23 seconds to go.

Walker then hammered the nail into the coffin as he stole Love’s inbound pass to Collin Sexton. Boston’s point guard was fouled and went 1-of-2 from the free-throw line to give the Celtics a 119-113 win.

Key Player

The scoring column had Gordon Hayward’s name written all over it Tuesday night. He made Boston’s first shot of the game, its last shot of the game, and a whole bunch in between.

Twenty-one, to be exact, was how many times Hayward found the bottom of the net. He connected on a career-high 17-of-20 shots from the field, while also making 4-of-4 from the charity stripe.

Sixteen of Hayward’s attempts came from inside the 3-point arc, and he did not miss a single one of those. He was a perfect 9-for-9 during the first half, as he had a career-best 22 points before the break.

To go along with his career-high-tying 39-point effort, Hayward also dished out a season-high eight assists and corralled seven rebounds. He also finished with a game-best plus-12 in the plus/minus column.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Gordon Hayward tied a regular-season career high with 39 points.
  • Hayward's 17 field goal makes were also a career best.
  • Hayward also dished out a season-high eight assists.
  • The Celtics had a 45-44 edge in rebounding.
  • Kemba Walker scored 25 points, giving him at least that amount in four straight games.
  • The Celtics had a season-high 12 blocked shots.
  • Five of those blocks belonged to Daniel Theis, giving him a new career high in that department.
  • Boston shot 56.5 percent from the field.
  • Tristan Thompson recorded 19 points and 13 rebounds for the game's lone double-double.
  • The Celtics scored 60 points in the paint to Cleveland's 44.
  • Carsen Edwards logged his first double-digit scoring outing, as he scored 13 points in less than 15 minutes.

Quote of the Night

Marcus Smart jokes of him being called upon to match up with Cavs big man Kevin Love..