Gordon Hayward's Top Career Performances

BOSTON – The Celtics brought in the top free agent of the summer last month when they signed Gordon Hayward to a multi-year deal. Before the All-Star forward steps foot onto the parquet floor, we want to give you a preview of what he’s capable of bringing to the table, so we’ve compiled a list of the top performances from his seven-year career in Utah.

5. Jan. 30. 2015 vs. Golden State

Here’s what happened…

Hayward was battling sinus congestion Jan. 30, 2015 when he and the Jazz hosted the Golden State Warriors, but that didn’t impact his strong nose for rebounds. The forward crashed the glass relentlessly for a career-high 15 boards – 10 defensive rebounds and a career-best five offensive rebounds – during Utah’s 110-100 win over the eventual NBA champs. Hayward grabbed five more boards than Golden State’s entire starting frontcourt combined, while the Jazz, as a team, outrebounded the Warriors 55-41. He also added 26 points, six assists and three steals during the effort, proving that even with stuffed up sinuses, he could still stuff the stat sheet.

4. April 7, 2017 vs. Minnesota

Here’s what happened…

This past season, Hayward guided Utah to its first Northwest Division title in nine years. It was quite fitting that he had the greatest scoring performance of his career on the night that the Jazz secured the division crown. Hayward notched 39 points on 14-of-22 shooting from the field, including 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range, as he led Utah to a 120-113 comeback win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The effort surpassed his previous career-high of 38 points, which he had established 18 days prior in Indiana. The Jazz trailed Minnesota by as many as 11 points during the second quarter, but Hayward tallied 25 second-half points as he sunk a number of clutch shots down the stretch to ward off the Wolves. He also notched five assists, three rebounds, two steals, and shot 7-of-8 from the free-throw line to round out his stellar, division title-clinching effort.

3. April 21, 2017 vs. LA Clippers

Here’s what happened…

Hayward’s 39-point effort didn’t remain a career-high for long. In fact, it only lasted two weeks before he broke the mark again. This time the stakes were higher, as the Jazz hosted the LA Clippers for Game 3 of the first round of the 2017 Playoffs. Without the services of star center Rudy Gobert (sprained left knee), Hayward had to put the team on his back. He did just that, as he tallied 40 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots. Unfortunately for Utah, Hayward’s spectacular effort was not enough. The shorthanded Jazz managed to keep the game close throughout, and it was a one-possession contest up until the final moments, but Chris Paul sealed a 111-106 win with one second left as he sunk a pair of free throws to spoil Hayward’s career night.

2. Dec. 13, 2013 at Denver

Here’s what happened…

The Jazz finished with their lowest win total in more than 30 years during the 2013-14 campaign, but Hayward was a shining star on that 25-57 squad. He had a number of spectacular games that season, including the top two performances on this list. On Dec. 13, 2013, Hayward delivered the second 30-point performance of his career while also establishing a career high on the boards. He finished with 30 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and a steal, as his Jazz took down the Nuggets in Denver. His point total, which was achieved on 11-of-18 shooting from the field and 7-of-7 shooting from the free-throw line, nearly eclipsed the point total of Denver’s entire starting five, which scored 36 points on just 14-of-41 shooting from the field. Not only was Hayward nearly mistake-free with his stroke; he also did not commit a single turnover during his 38-minute effort, as he led the Jazz to a 103-93 win on the road.

1. Jan. 7, 2014 vs. Oklahoma City

Here’s what happened…

Less than a month after his exceptional night in the Mile-High City, Hayward took part in the greatest one-on-one battle of his career. The 11-25 Jazz were hosting the 27-7 Oklahoma City Thunder on Jan. 7, 2014, and Hayward was assigned to take on league-leading scorer Kevin Durant. KD put on a show, as he scored 48 points, but Hayward ended up being the hero of the night. The young Jazz forward scored a then-career-high 37 points on an incredible 13-of-16 shooting performance from the field. While Durant finished with 11 more points than his counterpart, he also took 18 more shots, as he made 14-of-34 from the field. Hayward also outdueled Durant on the glass 11-7, finished with seven assists to Durant’s five, and tallied two steals and a block. Utah led the contest by as many as 16 points during the fourth quarter, but the Thunder came back to cut the deficit to five points with less than five minutes remaining. Hayward, however, took control from there. He scored Utah’s final 17 points, while OKC managed to score just seven points during that span. Hayward single-handedly guided the Jazz to one of their biggest upset wins of the season, as they held off the Thunder 112-101.

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