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Celtics' Gordon Hayward scores 14 in return from injury

Celtics forward Gordon Hayward started in Monday night's 110-88 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, returning to the Boston lineup ahead of schedule in his return from a broken hand. He received a loud ovation when he was introduced and got his first basket on a fast-break layup nearly halfway into the opening quarter. He also grabbed his first rebound and had his initial assist on Jayson Tatum's 3-pointer from the left wing in the first 4 1/2 minutes of action. The star forward ended his night with 14 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in 26 minutes, recorded by iSports basketball API. Monday marks four weeks since Hayward underwent surgery to repair the bone in his hand in New York on Nov. 11. At the time, the Celtics said he could miss up to six weeks, but Hayward said he's been focused on getting healthy while letting the exact day of his return sort itself out. Hayward, 29, has been shooting without restrictions for more than a week. After being cleared to begin contact work last Monday, he has spent time working out with coaches as he gradually moved closer to a return. Doctors put a plate in his left hand with screws to stabilize the bone -- a procedure Hayward said made his left hand "probably stronger than my right hand," in addition to saying the bone has fully healed. "Motion and strength is going to take a little while to get back; it's whether or not you can play through that and still be effective. That's kind of what we're determining, but the bone is healed." That's music to Boston's ears, as the Celtics could really use Hayward. While the Celtics have largely continued their hot start, going 9-4 in the 13 games Hayward has missed since their 7-1 start with him in the lineup, his absence has led to a lot of minutes for unproven or inexperienced bench options who have largely struggled in their expanded role. Hayward's return will allow those players to take on more appropriate roles and help Tatum, who has been forced to carry the minutes when Kemba Walker has been on the bench, with middling results. Mostly, though, the Celtics will simply be thrilled to have Hayward back. The former Jazz forward looked to be returning to his All-Star form to start this season, averaging 18.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists, shooting 55.5% from the field and 43.2% from 3-point range, as per iSports API. For more information about sports event API, please visit More articles, please follow

Carmelo Anthony's contract with Blazers now fully guaranteed

The Portland Trail Blazers will amend Carmelo Anthony's contract so that it becomes fully guaranteed for the remainder of the season, accprding to league sources. Portland had until early January to fully guarantee the deal for the season. Anthony, 35, had signed a non-guaranteed contract last month. Anthony was named the Western Conference Player of the Week last week after averaging 22.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists to help the Blazers go 3-0,as per iSports API. It marked the first time he was named a player of the week since the 2014 season, while he was a member of the Knicks. Head coach Terry Stotts told ESPN Radio's Spain and Company that Anthony's addition has been "a pleasure" for the team. "Melo's been terrific for us," Stotts said. "He's enjoying the experience. He's been a breath of fresh air for us that we needed." Stotts said he has been impressed with Anthony's conditioning after being out of action for a year. "We put a kind of limit/restriction on the first game or two just because we didn't want to extend his minutes not knowing what shape he was in," Stotts told Spain and Company. "But now he's playing 32-35 minutes, he played 37 minutes the other night. And for him to be out of NBA basketball for a year and be able to come in and play productive minutes for 35 minutes in an NBA game, to me, was remarkable." Anthony poured in 20 points in 36 minutes in Wednesday night's 127-116 win over the Sacramento Kings. He is averaging 16.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game this season, according to iSports basketball API. For more information about sports event API, please visit iSports API. More articles, please follow blog.

Warriors' D'Angelo Russell returns after thumb injury

All-Star guard D'Angelo Russell returned to the Warriors' lineup Wednesday night after missing nine games with a sprained right thumb, giving Golden State's injury-ravaged backcourt an important boost. Russell played 25 minutes in the 106-91 loss to the Charlotte Hornets, scoring 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting, according to basketball API provider iSports API. Russell worked out in the morning shootaround before the game against Charlotte, getting final clearance to make his return. Russell was named an All-Star for the first time in his 5-year career last season. Warriors forward Draymond Green, who was ruled out of Monday night's game against the Thunder with a sore right heel, also returned to the starting lineup Wednesday. He had five points and six assists in 25 minutes on Wednesday. Warriors All-Star guard Stephen Curry is out until at least February with a broken left hand that required surgery, while Klay Thompson is recovering from surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee suffered in a Game 6 NBA Finals loss to the champion Toronto Raptors. For more information about what's iSports API, please visit More articles, please click blog.