Everything you need to know about the Celtics beating the Wolves 115-102 in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis.
Gordon Hayward erupts with Kyrie sidelined: With Kyrie Irving out with scratched eyes, the Celtics needed to look elsewhere for scoring to keep pace with the offensive-minded Wolves. Gordon Hayward came off the bench to do just that for the second straight game against Minnesota, posting a season-high 35 points on 14-of-18 shooting from the field. He also set a season-high with four makes from 3-point range, carrying Boston’s offense for the final three quarters after missing his first two shots of the game. Four other Celtics scored in double figures but none of them added more than 16 points as Hayward proved to be the difference in holding off a Minnesota rally in the second half.
Gordon Hayward can't miss! pic.twitter.com/VNFsf3dbAE
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 3, 2019
Terry Rozier shines again in starting role: The fourth-year guard continues to look like a bigger player when he’s handed more minutes. With Irving sidelined, Rozier made his third start of the year and was a force early on in this contest, scoring 11 of his 16 points in the first quarter on 5-of-5 shooting. He also was an effective facilitator and extremely active on the defensive end (season-high five steals) which enabled the Celtics to get out on the fast break early and often (23-10 edge in transition points).
Best shooting night of the year for Boston: A lot of it came on the back of Hayward’s scoring but eight of 10 rotation players for Boston shot 50 percent or better from the field tonight as the C’s set a new season-high with 59 percent shooting from the field. They also tied their season-high with 34 assists, showing some of their best ball movement of the year with their top scorer on the sidelines. That type of output helped the hosts overcome 31 points from Andrew Wiggins and 28 points from Karl-Anthony Towns and improve to 20-3 at home while Irving is sidelined over the past two seasons.