The new-look Boston Celtics has kicked off the NBA pre-season with a 94-82 victory against the Charlotte Hornets at TD Garden Arena.
Four-time NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward made their first appearance in a Celtic uniform and opened the friendly game on the floor with Jaylen Brown, Al Hordford and Aron Baynes on the floor.
The former Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Irving finished with nine points, four rebounds and three assists including the rare dunk to mark his debut after a give-and-go with Al Horford, who had 7, while Hayward got five points and five rebounds.
“It felt good. Unofficially in pre-season but I’m just getting started. I felt like I was on another platform out here on the TD garden for the first time. Eyes wide – just trying to get things going. Rusty as hell but it was good to play some NBA basketball again.” Irving said after the game when he was asked about his first appearance in Boston.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens decided to rest his three top stars, which are Irving, Hayward and Horford, for the second half to give other young players a chance to shine. Especially the No.3 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Jayson Tatum.
For the Hornets, Jeremy Lamb was the one who led his team with 17 points and eight rebounds.
PHOTO CREDIT: NBA