Gordon Hayward is not 100 percent, but he did not let that stop him from a team-high 19 points in a 95-88 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday night.
“He’s one of those guys. He’s not going to ask for a night off,” said point guard Shelvin Mack, who scored 15 points off the bench. “He loves to play. He puts all the work in over the summer to play 82 games and he’s continued to grind throughout the season.”
It was a slow start for Hayward, who managed to only score nine points through the first three quarters, prompting Jazz head coach Quin Snyder to pull his star to help get him into a groove.
“I pulled him out a couple times just to settle him,” Snyder said. “I wasn’t taking him out for rest. I was taking him out to just collect himself because he was struggling a little bit offensively.”
However, things changed for Gordon in the fourth quarter when his team needed him most. The Jazz and Wizards had six different ties, and both teams were within four until the final 33 seconds.
G-Time scored 10 points in the fourth and started an 11-4 run that gave the Jazz a five-point lead.
“I think he’s still coming back from the knee. Since that happened, he hasn’t quite had the same juice,” Snyder said. “But he’s not going to let that get in the way of competing.”
In addition to his 19 points, Hayward finished with seven rebounds and four assists.
On Sunday the Jazz played the San Antonio Spurs, and Hayward carried his hot fourth quarter over to Sunday’s game with six points in the first.
The Jazz started the second down seven, but the Spurs quickly took a 15 point lead. Utah stormed back late in the second to eventually tie the game and enter halftime down only two points.
Hayward scored 10 points in the second half, including eight in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough as the Jazz fell to the Spurs 109-103.
With the loss, the Jazz still hold a half-game lead over the Clippers for the fourth seed in the Western Conference.
Up next the Jazz host the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.