Gordon Hayward returns to game action in Boston Celtics’ preseason loss

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Gordon Hayward lastly returned to recreation motion Friday night time.

Hayward scored 10 factors in his first recreation in almost a yr for the Boston Celtics, who fell to the Charlotte Hornets 104-97 on the opening night time of the NBA preseason schedule.

“Undoubtedly good to get that one out of the best way,” Hayward stated. “Did not really feel like I performed my greatest basketball, however I used to be having enjoyable on the market and it was good to be again with the fellows. Undoubtedly had some good moments, some unhealthy ones.”

It was Hayward’s first time in a recreation since Oct. 17, when he broke the tibia in his left leg and dislocated the ankle about 5 minutes into the Celtics’ regular-season opener at Cleveland.

“I have been via quite a bit this previous yr, so simply to be on the market in entrance of the followers, taking part in with my teammates, there have been moments that I did not know if I used to be going to have the ability to do this. So, that was undoubtedly a win,” Hayward stated.

Hayward’s first factors got here when he grabbed an offensive rebound in transition early within the opening quarter and scored simply. He completed 2-for-7 from the sector, taking part in about 23 minutes.

“The one reduce to the rim, I often would have dunked that one. Tried to go up off my leg and simply did not have it, I assume,” Hayward stated. “So, that stuff I feel will come again, that little explosion. I am sure of that. … It was simply the velocity of the sport, simply the group, that is one thing I have to get used to once more.”

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Gordon Hayward pulls up and cans his first Three-pointer of the night time after beginning out Zero-for-Four from downtown.

Kyrie Irving performed for the primary time since March 11, when his 2017-18 season ended with a knee challenge. He completed with 9 factors. However the night time additionally was vital as a result of he lastly acquired to play at North Carolina.

Irving performed his lone faculty season at Duke in 2010-11 however was restricted to 11 video games that season by damage and by no means performed towards the Tar Heels, the Blue Devils’ largest rival. Friday’s recreation was performed earlier than a crowd of greater than 18,000 contained in the Dean E. Smith Heart.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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