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Favorite games: Gordon Hayward at Miami Heat

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With Jayson Tatum sidelined, Gordon Hayward was brilliant as the 4th seeded Celtics took down the 3rd seeded Heat in Miami.

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat Photo by Oscar Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

In this favorite performance of the season we look back on Gordon Hayward’s complete game in at Miami Heat on January 29th. The shorthanded C’s would be without Jayson Tatum and Enes Kanter and would face the white hot Miami Heat. For some context, at the end of January, the Heat would start the game tied with Milwaukee for the top home record in the league at a blistering 21-2 pace.

Gordon started out strong attacking the more lithe Duncan Robinson off the dribble the first few plays, then Hayward mixed it up in the mid-range with a bassline jab step to get Robinson back tracking before rising up for a step back floater.

As the second half opened, Hayward again scored in the mid-range, recognizing the mismatch and shooting over an outstretched Meyers Leonard. At the 5 and a half minute mark to go in the 3rd quarter, Gordo would then go the length of the court to dribble into an open trey, as the Heat defenders struggled to get set and were left scrambling as Hayward would put Boston up eight.

With the Heat scrambling to get back into the game, a Tyler Herro three-point miss saw the Celtics run out in transition and Marcus Smart weighted a perfect lob pass to Hayward for the flush.

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

In an arm wrestle third quarter which saw Miami mount a mini-run, Gordon Hayward would provide the steadying calm hitting on another neat pull up jumper showered with defenders and draw a foul attacking the basket to hit on a pair of free throws to end the quarter.

As the fourth quarter was drawing to an end, Hayward took on Duncan Robinson yet again to attack and drop one off the glass.

Ball movement was the key to this game with Kemba Walker logging 8 assists, Jaylen Brown with 5 assists, and Marcus Smart with 4 assists. It also doesn’t hurt when Gordon Hayward switches into attack mode like he did in this one as he would go 10-of-14 from the field to tally 29 points and grab nine rebounds.

Gordon Hayward Shot chart, 28th of January, 2020, Miami, Fla.

It’s always hard to win down two key players and yet, the Celtics outplayed one of the best home teams in the league.

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

In what would be just the second game for the Celtics after the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant, the road team galvanized and Gordon Hayward dedicated his performance to the former Laker.