BOSTON - Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said on Saturday that forward Gordon Hayward is no longer playing on a minute restriction. This comes less than 24 hours after Hayward played a season-high 39 minutes in the team’s overtime victory over the Toronto Raptors. According to Stevens, the restriction was lifted last week in Portland.
In terms of playing the forward in the extra period on Friday, Stevens said that he was just focused on winning the game and didn’t think about it when giving Hayward the go-ahead for overtime.
“I was told he’s not on a minutes restriction, so I just played who I thought gave us the best chance of winning that given game on that given night.” Stevens added that Hayward will still have games where he plays just 25 minutes, but the restriction being lifted is an “encouraging” sign.
The Celtics tip-off against the Utah Jazz tonight at 7:30 PM EST from TD Garden.
Listen to Stevens’ full pregame availability below: