Utah Jazz: Gordon Hayward's monster performance vs. OKC the latest strong outing for shooting guard
Hayward, whose previous career-high was 34, didn’t even realize he’d scored so many points in a row.
“I don’t think I’ve ever done that,” he said. “It’s probably the best performance I’ve had.”
The next morning at practice, Rush was razzing Hayward for missing a golden opportunity to hit 40 for the first time. Instead of attempting a 3-pointer late in the game, Hayward passed the ball away.
“He pretty much carried us that whole fourth quarter,” Rush said. “It’s good to see him being aggressive and taking control of the game like he did last night.”
Hayward was 2 for 3 from deep, both of which came after Durant helped trim the Jazz’s 24-point lead down to five. Durant only made 14 of 34 shots, including 3 of 13 from beyond the arc.
Now Hayward is hoping to keep this rhythm going as he’s returned to his early-season form, like when he had five 20-point games in a six-game stretch in November before cooling off.
“Hopefully,” Hayward said when asked if he’s turned the corner shooting-wise. “It’s still day by day. I still have a lot of places to improve on. There’ll be another night when I struggle. I know that I can’t get too high on the highs or too low on the lows.”
Or please everybody with a near triple-double or 37 points.
“He was a little tired, I could tell,” a smiling Rush said when Hayward’s missed free throws (he hit 9 of 13) were mentioned. “But he should have shot the 3.”
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