The real test for Hayward, however, will come on Saturday night.
And perhaps Ibaka's dunk was fueled by some frustration? One night after knocking off the mighty Toronto Raptors in a showdown, Boston was asleep at the wheel and falls to 9-7.
They rebounded from a dismal five-game road trip with a resounding 111-82 victory over the rebuilding Chicago Bulls. The Celtics shot 38.5 percent overall and a stinging 15.2 percent (5-for-33) from downtown. Kyle Lowry, despite missing his friend DeMar DeRozan, is averaging 17 points and 11 assists, while posting a PER of 23.7.
After the Utah Jazz received a historic, 50-point pounding at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks this week, Coach Quin Snyder slammed his team for its listless performance.
In a loss against the 76ers, Mitchell took 35 shots in the game and didn't have even a single assist.
It set the stage for Utah's third-quarter explosion. Boston won that game 123-116. In nine minutes, he had nine points and a couple rebounds as well as two steals.
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Green recorded five points, two rebounds and one assist over 20 minutes of action before exiting.
ESPN Stats & Information reported Mitchell's 31-point, zero-assist line was the first such performance since Carmelo Anthony scored 62 points for the New York Knicks in a victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on January 24, 2014.
Irving's aggression was contagious Friday night, particularly for Jayson Tatum, whose performance late in the game was much more in line with how he played in his breakout rookie campaign last season. At that point, the wheels began to fall off and the Jazz had problems finding the basket from then on.
Indiana's reserves outscored Miami's bench 53-27, which helped the Pacers overcome an off night by All-Star shooting guard Victor Oladipo, who was held to a season-low eight points on 3-for-12 shooting. And that's the way they played with Gordon (two years ago).
The game was such a rout, none of Toronto's starters had to play in the fourth quarter when a G League-dominated group that included Jordan Loyd, Chris Boucher and Malachi Richardson mopped up. But the C's only connect on 34.9 percent of their 3-point attempts which ranks 18th in the National Basketball Association.
Toronto led by eight early in the fourth quarter and still had a 107-103 lead with 90 seconds left.
Irving, asked about Stevens' decision to question his team's toughness, called for togetherness. The game changed when a steady diet of jump shots turned to one featuring a healthy dose of Irving, and to a lesser extent Tatum, getting aggressive and attacking the rim. Bradley Beal scored 20 points and reserve Kelly Oubre Jr. added 18 for the Wizards, who saw their three-game winning streak end.