BOSTON (CBS) — Gordon Hayward’s career with the Charlotte Hornets got off to a much better start than his career with the Celtics. Hayward dropped 28 points for Charlotte in his Hornets debut on Wednesday night.

However, that big night came in a losing effort, as the Hornets lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers, 121-114.

Hayward played exceptionally well in his Charlotte debut though, hitting 11 of his 18 shots from the floor. He was 4-for-8 from downtown, and dished out seven assist and pulled down four rebounds over 36 minutes.

His best stretch came in the third quarter, when Hayward poured in 16 points off 5-for-7 shooting. It helped the Hornets cut into a 24-point Cavaliers lead, but again, it wasn’t enough in the end.

Charlotte got an even bigger performance out of former Celtic Terry Rozier, who scored 42 points. Rozier hit 10 three-pointers in the loss.

Hayward opted out of his final year with the Celtics to sign a four-year, $120 million deal with the Hornets this offseason. His Boston debut also came against the Cavaliers, but we all remember what happened that night in 2017.

But on Wednesday night, Hayward looked not only comfortable in his new jersey, but he looked healthy and explosive too. He left Boston for a bigger role, and it looks like he found just that in Charlotte.

CBSBoston.com Staff