Photo: NBC 10 Boston
By: Patrick Whalen
With the NBA season still sadly on hold for the foreseeable future, we continue our countdown of the top 10 performances of the season with numbers 6 and 5. These two performances feature a stellar performance from Gordon Hayward and a record-setting night from Marcus Smart. Without further waiting let’s get right into it with number 6.
6: Gordon Hayward vs the Cleveland Cavaliers Nov 5, 2019
This performance took place just 6 games into the season as the Celtics traveled to Cleveland off to a hot 4-1 start as they looked to make it 5 wins in a row after their season-opening loss to the 76ers. With no Jaylen Brown or Enes Kanter available the Celtics would need some other stars to step up in their absence and that’s exactly what Gordon Hayward did. Hayward went off for probably one of his best games in a Celtics uniform scoring 39 points on an amazing 17-20 shooting from the floor and a perfect 4-4 from the free-throw line. Most people would assume that Gordon must have been firing the three but he only shot 1-4 from three-point range which ended up being his only missed shots on the night. Gordon showed off his great driving ability which helped him become an all-star back in Utah. He also showed off his great mid-range game that he has developed over his career with his elite step-backs and his great pull up jumpers. Hayward came out firing with 16 of his 39 points in the first quarter to help get the Celtics a lead that they would not give up as they led wire to wire all night for a 119-113 win over the Cavs. Gordon would also show off that he’s more than just a scorer racking up 7 rebounds and 8 assists in what would be win number 5 in the Celtics early season 10 game win streak.
5: Marcus Smart vs the Phoenix Suns Jan 18, 2020
This performance took place during January when the Celtics were struggling to start the new year as they were just 4-5 to start 2020. The Celtics would have to take on the Suns while missing both Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker and again would look for help from their bench. They would get that help from Marcus Smart, he would get the start with Walker out of the lineup and Smart would do his best to replace Walker’s scoring and he did just that. Smart would go off for a career-high 37 points on 13-25 shooting including 11-22 from three-point range. The 11 threes would not only set a new career-high for Smart but also set a new franchise record for single-game threes made by an individual player. Smart would also chip 5 rebounds, 8 assists, and 4 steals bringing his usual Marcus Smart hustle and toughness. But despite his record-breaking performance, the Suns were just too much to handle as the Celtics would lose 123-119.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the countdown hit the links below to catch up on spots 10-7 in our performance countdown.
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