Boston Celtics small forward Gordon Hayward played in his first professional basketball game Friday since suffering the gruesome left ankle injury last season on opening night, and things went fairly well for the 28-year-old.
In 23 minutes of action, Hayward scored 10 points while shooting 2-of-7 from the field, 1-of-5 from the 3-point line, and 5-of-7 from the free-throw line. Hayward’s first bucket was a putback after Jayson Tatum missed a layup.
— NBA (@NBA) September 28, 2018
Hayward told reporters after the game his conditioning was pretty good and that he had a lot of fun being back on the court with his teammates. After missing a year of basketball, it’s going to take Hayward a while to find his groove and return to an All-Star level, but it was just good to see him back on the court playing the game he loves.
The Celtics jumped out to a 37-20 lead in the first quarter and were clicking on all cylinders. Boston, however, wasn’t able to sustain that early success and ended up losing to the Charlotte Hornets in Chapel Hill by a final score of 104-97.
Here are Hayward’s full postgame comments, via Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe:
— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) September 29, 2018