Where: TD Garden, Boston, Mass
BOSTON — Giannis Antetokounmpo spoiled the Boston Celtics’ emotional home opener Wednesday night.
The Milwaukee star, who didn’t score a basket in the first quarter, had 16 of his 37 points and was responsible for several others in the fourth quarter, leading the Bucks to a season-opening 108-100 victory over Boston.
The Celtics, who lost for the second straight night under the cloud of the gruesome injury sustained by newcomer Gordon Hayward in Cleveland on Tuesday, appeared to tire late in the game as the Bucks turned a six-point, fourth-quarter deficit into a win.
Thanks to Antetokounmpo.
In addition to his 16 points in the final quarter, he also had two steals, two (of his 13) rebounds and two assists in the final 12 minutes as the Bucks used a 17-4 run to take control of the game.
Hayward was still being evaluated. Coach Brad Stevens, who reported Hayward dislocated his left ankle and broke his tibia, visited Hayward in the hospital on Wednesday and said Hayward was “down.”
The forward addressed the crowd pregame from his hospital bed, stating, “I’m gonna be all right.”
With 3:21 left in the first half, the crowd broke into a chant of “Gor-don Hay-ward.”
Hayward’s father, Gordon, tweeted Wednesday night: “In surgery now… Prayers for my son please! Surgeon said 2-3 hours…whatever it takes. #Godsgotthis!”
Malcolm Brogdon added 19 points and Khris Middleton and Matthew Dellavedova 15 apiece in the win.
Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 18 points. Kyrie Irving, playing for the first time in front of his new home crowd, had 17 points, and Terry Rozier added 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
NOTES: Cavaliers G Isaiah Thomas, who helped recruit F Gordon Hayward to Boston before he was dealt to Cleveland, visited the injured Hayward in the locker room Tuesday. “He was back there with Gordon when he was getting his splint,” Stevens said. “He plays for another team, but he’s a special guy to us.” … The Bucks were watching the game in their Boston hotel when Hayward went down. “Just shock,” G Malcolm Brogdon said. “People just turned their heads from the TV. As a basketball player, you don’t want to see people even turn their ankles. You just turn your head and you pray for him and wish him the best.”