Utah Jazz: Gordon Hayward gets some help from teammates to beat old coach, Celtics
“Sometimes,” Celtics center Kelly Olynyk said, “it doesn’t go your way.”
More often than not, things have gone the Celtics' way in these teams’ meetings in recent years. The Jazz had lost seven straight to Boston. In fact, not one current player was on Utah’s roster the last time the Celtics lost in this series back on March 22, 2010.
Coincidentally, that was just three days before Stevens and Hayward celebrated a 63-59 upset win over Syracuse in the Sweet 16 at ESA.
On Monday morning, Stevens smiled and described that victory and the ensuing Elite Eight win over KSU as “one of the greatest sporting moments that I’ve ever been a part of, certainly.”
Stevens and Hayward reminisced over that — and their time together — at dinner Sunday night in Salt Lake City after the Celtics traveled in from northern California.
“We caught up, mostly just about life, not really about basketball that much,” Hayward said. “We did talk about the ejection (Saturday in Sacramento). I had to give him something — something about that. It was just good catching up with him, good seeing him.”
As friends do, Hayward couldn’t resist poking fun at Stevens for the first ejection in his basketball life at any level.
“He said, ‘No comment on that one.’ He didn’t think it was necessarily the right thing,” Hayward said at shootaround. “I told him if he wants to get ejected tonight that’s fine too.”
That didn’t happen.
But for the first time, Stevens lost at ESA. Now the Butler products are tied up in the NBA, seeing as the Celtics won Round 1 back in November.
“The bottom line is,” the Celtics coach said, “they (Jazz) got rolling.”
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