Hayward was playing limited minutes as he adjusts to being back after a year of rehabilitation, sharing time with Australian Aron Baynes for at least the season's first couple of weeks.
While Hayward, who was hurt on opening night last October, showed some signs of rust during his 25-minute stint and Irving was unable to get his shot to fall after being sidelined since last March 11, players like Jayson Tatum, Marcus Morris, Terry Rozier and Al Horford moved front and center. Plus he's been dealing with some back soreness.
"It was incredible to be out there on the court again for a regular-season game", said Hayward.
By half-time the Australian had almost notched a double-double - having stuffed the stats sheet to the tune of 10 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block. Tatum ended the night with 23 points on 9-for-17 shooting from the field.
The Golden State Warriors have won each of the last two National Basketball Association championships, but something they haven't won each of the last two years is their opening night game.
A gruesome ankle injury in the 2017-18 opener ruled Hayward out for the remainder of the season, but on Tuesday he played 24 minutes as the Celtics started the new season with a 105-87 win at TD Garden.
The Celtics struggled to a 1-3 mark in the preseason, but coach Brad Stevens and fans are hoping the exhibition schedule can be chalked up to a team with big goals looking too far ahead. But before that game gets under way, the Warriors will receive their championship rings after winning their second straight title last season.
"That was a big step for me mentally".
Tonight the Bulls will look to start the season with a win against the Philadelphia 76ers.
"You can't, " Hoiberg said when explaining why he eschews a woe-is-me attitude.
The Celtics led by just five at halftime (47-42) and tried to take control of the game (61-47). His single-game high last season was three, a feat he achieved on five occasions. Because they've discussed an extension, just had conversations about one, but also he's in demand on the trade market ... he's a terrific backup for anybody in the league. When he starts the motion to give the ball to LaVine, Ben Simmons is positioned in front of LaVine to force a tougher pass, as rookie Landry Shamet gambles over the backside to get the steal. "I don't know if my friends in Indianapolis are all that excited about it, but I think when you're in the East and here in Boston and Philly, the history of the Boston-Philly rivalry and certainly all the great games that have been played, it's exciting for us that are involved for sure in these two cities".