Gordon Hayward was left feeling “a little bit sore” but says he is making strides with every game after the Boston Celtics consigned the Milwaukee Bucks to a first defeat of the NBA season.
Hayward produced his best performance since returning from a fractured ankle, scoring a season-high 18 points with four rebounds and five assists in a 117-113 victory on Thursday.
The small forward landed three of a franchise-record 24 three-pointers for the Celtics, Kyrie Irving leading the way with 28 points.
Hayward is still finding his feet after such a long absence, but believes he is gradually putting his injury nightmare behind him.
“I can feel it right now [his ankle],” Hayward said. “It’s definitely a little bit sore, something new that I haven’t done in a while.
“Those are things I just have to work through, maybe some scar tissue that I can grind out a little bit. It did feel a little bit sore, but I think it held up just fine.
“I have to get knocked down. I have to land on that one foot a little awkwardly, just so mentally I know I can do it, but also physically I can hold and be strong.”
He added: “It started off with a good start. [I was] just out there competing, playing….I’ve said it before, but game by game there’s different things [he’s getting better at]. I’m getting more and more comfortable.
“I had some open looks from three that were good, and was able to knock them down, and tonight was good for me.”