Gordon Hayward praised the Boston Celtics for bouncing back against the Charlotte Hornets as he hailed "stop sign" Enes Kanter.

The Celtics rebounded from their loss to the Toronto Raptors by easing past the Hornets 109-92 in the NBA on Tuesday.

Hayward, who had 21 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in the win, said defensive improvement was key for the Celtics.

"It was a good bounce-back win for us," he told a news conference.

"I think we tightened it up defensively – I think that was the big key we were trying to focus on after some slippage. I think that was the biggest deal for us."

While Hayward, Kemba Walker (22 points) and Jayson Tatum (24) again starred, Kanter delivered off the bench.

Kanter finished with 13 points, 14 rebounds and a career-high six blocks as the Celtics improved to 23-8.

"I didn't realise it was six blocks. That's pretty big time," Hayward said.

"He's been telling people he's a stop sign. I hope that he's going to continue to be a stop sign for us. We need him on that end."

The Celtics host the struggling Atlanta Hawks on Friday.

Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward is set to miss six weeks after undergoing surgery on his left hand.

Hayward, 29, fractured the fourth metacarpal in his left hand during the Celtics' 135-115 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday.

The Celtics confirmed the surgery on Monday and are set to be without Hayward until late December.

"Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward underwent successful surgery today to repair a fourth metacarpal fracture in his left hand," a Celtics statement read.

"The injury occurred during Saturday night's game against the San Antonio Spurs.

"He is expected to return to play in approximately six weeks."

Hayward is averaging 18.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists for the Celtics this season.

Kemba Walker says the Boston Celtics need other players to "step up" after Gordon Hayward suffered a broken hand on Saturday.

The in-form Hayward was hurt in a collision with LaMarcus Aldridge late in the first half of the Celtics' 135-115 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

After the game, Boston coach Brad Stevens revealed a decision on whether Hayward requires an operation will be made on Sunday, adding: "It sounds like, should he decide that, the surgery option might actually be a better timeline. So we'll see how that all plays out."

Walker acknowledged the injury represented a blow for the 7-1 Celtics, who lead the Eastern Conference, but urged other players to take the opportunities that will now come their way.

"We're definitely going to miss him, but you know, we just need guys to step up," said Walker.

"Now it's our opportunity for other guys until he comes back and we just have to hold the fort down."

No timeline has yet been placed on the recovery of Hayward, who missed the entire 2017-18 season after suffering a horrific ankle injury in the Celtics' season opener.

"It's tough, man," added Walker. "Obviously he's been through a lot with his old injury, and now this."

Hayward had made an impressive start to the season, averaging 20.3 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game prior to Saturday's contest.

The Boston Celtics extended their winning streak after beating the San Antonio Spurs 135-115, while the Golden State Warriors lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Boston made it seven successive victories since losing their NBA season opener by topping San Antonio away from home on Saturday.

Jaylen Brown posted 30 points for the Celtics (7-1), who lost star Gordon Hayward to a fracture in his left hand, while Kemba Walker added 26.

The slumping Spurs (5-4) were led by DeMar DeRozan and his 22 points on their home court.

In Oklahoma City, the Thunder trumped the struggling Warriors 114-108 thanks to Danilo Gallinari's 21 points.

D'Angelo Russell and his 30 points were not enough for the Warriors, who dropped to 2-8 for the season in the absence of injured stars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

 

Harden inspires Rockets

James Harden put up 42 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Houston Rockets beat the Chicago Bulls 117-94. Harden fell just short of his first triple-double of the season.

Luka Doncic had 24 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Dallas Mavericks past the Memphis Grizzlies 138-122. Doncic's performance came through three quarters after being rested for the final period.

 

Pelicans and Hornets combine for sloppy spectacle

The New Orleans Pelicans registered 26 turnovers, while the Charlotte Hornets turned the ball over on 22 occasions. New Orleans came away with a 115-110 win.

 

Harden lights up Chicago

'The Beard' had fun against the lowly Bulls, dishing off this stunning pass to Rockets team-mate Clint Capela.

 

Saturday's results

Boston Celtics 135-115 San Antonio Spurs
New Orleans Pelicans 115-110 Charlotte Hornets
Oklahoma City Thunder 114-108 Golden State Warriors
Houston Rockets 117-94 Chicago Bulls
Dallas Mavericks 138-122 Memphis Grizzlies

 

Raptors at Lakers

Defending champions the Toronto Raptors (6-2) will have their hands full when they face the in-form Los Angeles Lakers (7-1) at Staples Center on Sunday. LeBron James and the Lakers have won seven games on the bounce since losing to the Los Angeles Clippers on Opening Night.

Boston Celtics star Gordon Hayward fractured his hand against the San Antonio Spurs, the NBA team confirmed.

The Celtics diagnosed forward Hayward with a left hand fracture following an x-ray as Boston topped the Spurs 135-115 on Saturday.

Hayward hurt his hand in the second quarter after making contact with the Spurs' LaMarcus Aldridge in San Antonio.

The 2017 All-Star left the court and did not return for the remainder of the game away from home.

Hayward was averaging 20.3 points per game during Boston's 7-1 start to the season amid a seven-game winning streak.

It comes after Hayward suffered a devastating leg injury that cost him almost all of 2017-18.

After leaving the Utah Jazz for the Celtics on a four-year, $128million contract in 2017, Hayward sustained a fractured tibia and dislocated ankle in his left leg less than six minutes into his Boston debut.

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