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Gordon Hayward Returns For Second Time Since Leaving Utah Jazz

Gordon Hayward #20 of the Boston Celtics warms up before a game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on February 26, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former Utah Jazz and current Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward returned to Salt Lake City to face his old team for the second time since signing with the New England-based franchise.

Hayward and the Celtics traveled cross-country to play against the Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on Wednesday, February 26.

The Celtics forward stepped into the arena he called home for seven years for only the second time since joining Boston.

 

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@gordonhayward returns to @vivintarena as the @utahjazz host the @celtics.

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After a second-round playoff exit with the Jazz at the end of the 2016-17 season, Hayward decided to leave Utah and sign a max contract with the Celtics.

In Boston’s 2017-18 opener, Hayward suffered a season-ending injury.

Last season, the former Jazzman played against his old organization twice.

Hayward made his first return back to Salt Lake City on November 8, 2018. The Jazz defeated the Celtics 123-115. Hayward finished the game with 13 points, 1 rebound, and 7 assists in 26 minutes on Larry H. Miller Court.

Less than two weeks later, Hayward and the Celtics hosted the Jazz at TD Garden on November 17, 2018. Utah beat Boston 98-86 to sweep the season series. Hayward posted a stat line of 7 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists in 26 minutes.

This season, Hayward is averaging 17.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.2 assists in 33.4 minutes per contest.

Hayward and the Celtics tipped off against the Jazz on Wednesday, February 26 at 8:30 p.m. (MDT). The game is broadcast on ESPN.

Former Jazzman and current Celtics big man Enes Kanter also returned to Vivint Arena on Wednesday night. Utah traded Kanter to the Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2014-15 season.

Kanter is currently in his first season with Boston.

Boston enters the game with a record of 40-17 while Utah sits at 36-21 on the season.

The Jazz travel to Boston to play the second game of the 2019-20 season series on Friday, March 6 at 6 p.m. (MDT).