After a year of watching from the sidelines and rehabbing, Gordon Hayward returned to the court for the Boston Celtics during the 2018-19 NBA season. As the Celtics earned their way to the No. 4 seed in the playoffs, Gordon had his share of memorable moments and performances as he re-acclimated to the NBA game and learned the tendencies and strengths of his teammates in his first full season of playing with the team. By season’s end Gordon proved that he will still be a force to be reckoned with in the NBA for years to come. The following is a series that ranks Gordon’s top-five performances from the 2018-19 regular season:
Jan. 2, 2019: Celtics vs. Timberwolves
Just over one month removed from his 30-point outing against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Gordon Hayward kicked off 2019 with another dazzling performance against the very same team.
After much of 2018 was spent watching from the sidelines and rehabbing, Gordon was set to return to his All-Star caliber play in 2019, and he didn’t waste any time, putting up 35 points against the Wolves in the first game of the new year.
Surprisingly, Gordon’s night began with a pair of misses, but after that, G-Time knocked down a pair of threes to find his rhythm and never looked back as he shot lights out in the 115-102 win.
Hayward finished the night shooting 14-18 from the floor and a perfect 3-for-3 from the foul line, while also dishing out five assists.
The second and third quarters is really where Gordon made his mark against Minnesota. He shot a perfect 4-for-4 in the second and proceeded to go 7-for-8 in the third to follow it up.
Gordon’s third quarter began with back-to-back scores on a dunk and a two-point shot, both fof of Al Horford assists. Gordon wound up topping his second quarter of 13 points with 15 in the third and was well on his way to a memorable night as Boston led 87-81 at the end of the third quarter.
Six points was the closest Minnesota ever got to the Cs in the fourth quarter. With just under six minutes to play, Hayward made a driving floating jump shot to increase Boston’s lead to double digits.
After two Jayson Tatum free throws, Gordon attempted to put the game on ice and send the Timberwolves packing, and Gordon made a 27-foot 3-pointer to seal the win. With 56 seconds left to play, Hayward made an 18-foot jumper to bring his total to a game-high 35 points on the night.
The Celtics sent the Timberwolves back to Minnesota with a 115-102 loss, and Hayward turned in his best game of the season.