Celtics’ Hayward shoots down Cavaliers
CLEVELAND — Gordon Hayward capped a perfect night from inside the arc with the biggest basket of the game.
Hayward tied a career high with 39 points, making all 16 of his 2-point attempts, and the Boston Celtics won their fifth straight game by holding off the Cleveland Cavaliers 119-113 on Tuesday.
Hayward hit 17 of 20 shots, including one 3-pointer. He put in Kemba Walker’s miss with 22 seconds left to give Boston a five-point lead. Walker stole the inbounds pass and sank a free throw to put the game away.
The only person in the building who wasn’t impressed with his perfection on 2-pointers was Hayward.
“It seems like a pointless stat to me,” he said. “Tonight just felt sweet because we got the win, but I wish we could have closed out better.”
Walker had 25 points for Boston, which hasn’t lost since the season opener against Philadelphia.
Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. had a simple assessment of the performance.
“He didn’t miss,” Nance said. “He’s crafty. He plays the game at a very cerebral level.”
Collin Sexton, who scored 21 points, hit a 3 with 1:33 to play that cut Boston’s lead to 116-113. The score remained that way until Hayward’s crucial basket after his offensive rebound.
Boston was 48 of 85 from the field (56. Jayson Tatum scored 18 points and Carson Edwards had 13.
Tristan Thompson had 19 points and 13 rebounds for Cleveland, which has lost three straight. Love scored 17 and Nance 15.