Celtics’ Gordon Hayward feels bad for wasting Jayson Tatum’s huge night vs. Lakers
The Boston Celtics squandered a huge chance to send a big warning to the Western Conference, losing a narrow and highly-competitive tilt against the Los Angeles Lakers. Gordon Hayward, who led the team in assists in a 114-112 loss on Sunday afternoon, was disappointed that he and his teammates couldn’t do more for Jayson Tatum’s big night, as he matched a career-high 41 points in the loss.
“It’s tough, you have those big nights, we’ve got to come through for him,” said Hayward after the game, according to Tom Westerholm of MassLive.
Tatum canned 12 of his 20 field goal attempts, along with 4-of-7 from deep and 13-of-15 from the foul line. His counterpart Hayward struggled through 40 minutes, scoring only 10 points and making 5-of-15 from the floor while missing all five of his 3-point attempts.
Yet it wasn’t the shooting stroke that marred him the most, but his chances in-close that could have made the difference down the stretch.
He noted that had he not “smoked a couple bunnies,” the Celtics could have won the game.
Hayward has found mixed results this season as the fourth piece outside of a 20-point-a-night scoring trio of Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, and Tatum.
While Walker has missed the last few games due to injury, Hayward has had difficulty adjusting to what the team needs in the occasion. The soon-to-be 30-year-old bounced back from a 6-of-21 shooting performance against the Los Angeles Clippers before the All-Star break to trot out a crisp 12-of-17 shooting night against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.
Surely enough, any Celtic could have a night like this, but it is imperative for Hayward to step up as that third option when Walker is out. All other four starters outscored Hayward, while the bench only contributed 11 points as a whole.