Gordon Hayward Scores 30, Celtics Hold Off Timberwolves
Gordon Hayward admitted after Thursday's practice that he feels "a little lost" on the court at times as he tries to work his way back from a devastating left ankle injury that sidelined him just five minutes into the 2017-18 season. The former All-Star played his finest game as Celtic Saturday night, tallying 30 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists as the Celtics defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 118-109 at Target Center.
The Timberwolves trailed by 14 points in the second half but rallied to cut the deficit to 103-101 with 3:31 remaining in the game. But Boston was able to hold off Minnesota, and Hayward, who has been out of the starting lineup since the Celtics win against the Bulls on Nov. 19, helped ice the win for the C's.
After Andrew Wiggins hit a pair of free throws to cut the Celtics' lead to six with 2:07 remaining, Hayward responded with a driving layup, and then knocked down two free throws of his own after he was fouled while getting in position for a rebound on the other end. The 28-year-old capped his night with a three, giving the Celtics a commanding 116-107 lead with 36 seconds remaining.
It was the third win in a row for the Celtics, who got 21 points and 9 assists from kyrie Irving. Derrick Rose scored 26 points for Minnesota.
The Celtics do not play again until Thursday, when they'll host the Knicks at TD Garden.