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Gordon Hayward Returns To Salt Lake City For First Time With Celtics

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward (20) breaks away down court ahead of Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio (3) and forward Joe Ingles (2) during the game at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – It took a year longer than expected but Gordon Hayward played his first game against the Utah Jazz in a Boston Celtics uniform.

Hayward had 13 points and 7 assists on 3-of-9 shooting from the field, receiving boo’s from the fans from warm ups through the final buzzer.

“I expected it. It’s part of the game,” said Hayward after the game when asked if he though the fans would boo him.

Before The Game

The excitement and anticipation from the fans and media showed on Twitter.

Jazz fan Brennan Smith shot a video of the player introductions inside Vivint Smart Home Arena.

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward (20) and Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles (2) chat before the game at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

ESPN’s Tim MacMahon took the opportunity to snap a photo of Donovan Mitchell and Hayward warming up at the same time.


Jazz Reaction

Following the game, Jazz players as well as head coach Quin Snyder was asked if the game against Boston meant anymore to them.

“It is just another game. The significant thing about this game is Boston’s a really good team and we needed a home win,” Snyder said.

Hayward spent seven seasons with the Jazz after being selected him ninth overall in the 2010 draft.

Jae Crowder made a statement against his old team, the Boston Celtics scoring 20 points off the bench.

“I really wanted to win this game,” Crowder said. “No matter if I played good or bad, I just wanted to win the game. Obviously, I was able to play well. It means a lot to me to get this win. We see these guys in about a week, and I want to get that win as well,” he added.

The Jazz will play their final regular season game against the Celtics on Saturday, November 17 in Boston.

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward (20) guards Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) during the game at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

Rudy Gobert spent three seasons with Hayward and happy with the energy that Jazz fans provided the team against the Celtics.

“You could hear it (the fans), this meant a lot for our fans. Especially after we lost four games at home, we kind of owed them that win tonight,” Gobert added.

Fans Reaction To Hayward’s Return

It took over a year for Hayward to play in his first game against the Jazz since leaving the team to sign with the Boston Celtics. He missed all but five minutes of the 2017-18 season with a gruesome leg injury. This game was circled on the calendars of Jazz fans.

Jazz fan Kris was excited that Donovan Mitchell scored against Hayward.


Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune took a picture of a fan that was creative with his jersey as he removed Hayward’s last name on his Jazz jersey.

The Jazz will begin a four game road trip in Memphis on Monday at 6 p.m. on AT&T SportsNet.