BOSTON -- It was just two weeks ago that the Boston Celtics staged a frantic comeback but came up just short and lost to the New York Knicks, who were 4-16 at the time.
The Celtics, off to a surprisingly mediocre start as the Eastern Conference favorites, have won four of the five games since, including the last three -- and may have also gotten the real Gordon Hayward back as they head into Thursday night's rematch with the Knicks at TD Garden.
Hayward, lost to the Celtics with a horrible leg injury in the first quarter of his first game with his new team last season, has been coming along slowly in his return. He broke out in a major step forward last Saturday night in Minneapolis.
He scored 30 points and added nine rebounds and eight assists in a road win over the Timberwolves.
And he did it off the bench.
"It's slowly coming along," said Hayward. "I think my confidence is slowly coming back, too. I'm still not where I want to be, but for sure, me attacking is better for our team and not being hesitant or passive."
Hayward broke loose after a practice confrontation with teammate Marcus Smart, who challenged Hayward by fouling him ... a lot.
"He just got red at one point," teammate Marcus Morris said. "He was really upset. He was going really hard."
The Celtics are 3-0 since inserting Smart into the starting lineup. >> Read More
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