BOSTON (AP) — Gordon Hayward scored 25 points and the Boston Celtics earned their fifth victory in six games with a 119-104 win over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night.
Marcus Smart added 21 points, scoring 17 in the second half on a night when Boston became the latest team to offer a tribute to Kobe Bryant following his death in a helicopter crash.READ MORE: Injuries Reported At Car Crash In South Boston
Jayson Tatum, who was named to his first All-Star team before the game, returned to the lineup after missing three games with a right groin strain. He finished with 20 points in 24 minutes.
D’Angelo Russell led the Warriors, who lost their fifth straight, with 22 points. Alec Burks scored 18.
The Celtics trailed in the opening minutes of the first quarter, but closed out the final 5:48 of the period on an 18-7 run to edge in front. Boston led by as many as 19 in the fourth quarter.
It was the Celtics’ first home game since Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others were killed in Sunday’s crash in Calabasas, California.
In the pregame, Bryant’s No. 24 was illuminated in lights on the court as Celtics fans joined the organization in honoring him with 24 seconds of silence. Then, following a video tribute that included cameos from current and former Celtics, the arena erupted in cheers to salute the Lakers great.
Bryant was a longtime Boston nemesis in the Celtics-Lakers rivalry, but any lingering hard feelings were set aside in arenas around the league as players and fans mourned the 41-year-old global star.READ MORE: State Workers Face Sunday Deadline To Get COVID Vaccine Or Risk Losing Jobs
Warriors: Outscored the Celtics 27-10 in fast break points.
Celtics: Finished with 23 turnovers. … Made seven 3-pointers in the third quarter after hitting four in the first half. … C Enes Kanter missed his fourth straight game with a right hip contusion.
YOUTH IS SERVED
Tatum joined Walker as the Celtics’ All-Star selections. Walker was voted in as a starter last week. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, at 21 years and 333 days Tatum is the second-youngest Celtics player selected to an All-Star game behind Antoine Walker, who was 153 days younger. A diehard Bryant fan growing up, Tatum wore sneakers from Bryant’s Nike collection during pregame warmups.
Warriors: Visit Cleveland on Saturday.
Celtics: Host 76ers on Saturday.
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