With a 111-104 win at the United Center against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday, the Boston Celtics extended their road winning streak to four games.
In 34 minutes of action, Gordon Hayward accounted for 24 points on 9-14 from the field and five rebounds. G started hot, pouring in 10 first-quarter points to help keep the C’s in front of the Bulls early.
His effort, coupled with Jayson Tatum’s 28-point showing and Enes Kanter’s 17 point, 12 rebound double-double, allowed the Celtics to outlast the Bulls, who hung tough throughout the game. Zach LaVine’s 35-point night kept things close, but Boston’s depth was too much for the Bulls to overcome.
Hayward added 12 more points in the second half to help close out the game, along with clutch shot making from Tatum and Jaylen Brown and Kanter’s energetic activity in the paint.
Kanter became the only Celtic to record double-doubles in three consecutive games so far this season.
“If you look at the league, there’s not many big men left playing with their back to the basket,” Kanter said Saturday night in Chicago. “But hey, I love that tough, back-to-the-basket game – rebounds, just like the old days.”
The third quarter was when Kanter made most of his best plays, as he tallied nine points during that frame alone. His most impressive stretch was a personal 8-0 run near the end of the quarter, which included two separate and-one layups that helped Boston stretch its lead from four points to 12.
No. 20 even has taken note of the recent success his veteran center has been having over the last few games.
“I don’t know if Enes will say that Al helped him, but certainly I think you can see some of Al’s game through Enes,” Hayward said. “To have a guy like Enes, where you can throw it and slow the game down and he can get a bucket for you, is huge. When we went to him tonight, he was big-time.”
But Enes doesn’t want all the credit, acknowledging that it takes a total team effort for individual players to have breakout games as Kanter did on Saturday night. In total, five C’s found themselves scoring in double figures against Chicago.
“My teammates gave me a lot of confidence,” Kanter claimed. “They said, ‘Hey, if you’re down there, go one-on-one. If they come at you with a double-team, make the pass and make your teammates better.’ I appreciate my teammates always giving me that confidence, and it makes me feel very comfortable out there.”
The C’s will be back at home on Monday to take on the Washington Wizards (11-24). Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. ET.