Just over two years after brutally breaking his leg on the road in Cleveland, Gordon Hayward had his best performance as a Boston Celtic on the same court Tuesday night.
It’s been a long wait for the star, who missed all but one game in the 2017-18 season due to the injury, then returned to average 11.5 points (his lowest mark since his rookie season) in 2018-19.
In the 119-113 win over the Cavaliers on Tuesday, Hayward put on a clinic, hitting 100 percent of his shots from field goal range (17-for-17) en route to tying his career high of 39 points — also his highest-scoring game with Boston. He added eight assists and seven rebounds, and went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.
His previous scoring high with the Celtics was 35 points, from Jan. 2, 2019 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Hayward’s final shot of the game was a particularly big one, as he salvaged a missed 3-point attempt from Kemba Walker to seal the Celtics’ fifth-straight win.
Hayward, 29 years old and a nine-year veteran of the league, is now averaging 20.3 points per game on the year, trailing only Walker and Jayson Tatum on his own team. In the 2016-17 season, when he made his first All-Star team, Hayward averaged 21.9 points.
Is it too soon to declare him officially back?
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