Walker scores 22, Cavaliers fall to Celtics 110-88 in Hayward’s return

Bob DeChiara - USA Today Sports Images

BOSTON (AP) — Kemba Walker led Boston’s balanced scoring with 22 points, Gordon Hayward had 14 points in his return from a broken hand and the Celtics remained unbeaten at home with a 110-88 victory over the sinking Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.

Jaylen Brown had 20 points and seven rebounds, Jayson Tatum added 19 points with 11 boards, and Daniel Theis scored 10 for Boston, which improved to 10-0 at TD Garden.

Jordan Clarkson led Cleveland with 19 points, and Tristan Thompson had 17 points with 11 rebounds. The Cavaliers have lost seven straight games and 13 of 14.

Hayward returned exactly a month after breaking his left hand when he collided with San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge as the Spurs’ big man was setting a screen. Hayward played 26 minutes, finishing with five rebounds and four assists.

He was expected to miss about six weeks. But he said this weekend the bone is healed and — thanks to a plate with screws — might even be stronger than it was before.

The Celtics, who never trailed, led by 13 at halftime and broke it open by outscoring the Cavaliers 26-10 over the opening 7:53 of the second half. Tatum had eight points and Hayward six in a spree that gave Boston a 79-50 edge.

Cleveland did make it somewhat interesting by scoring 14 straight points spanning the end of the third quarter and early in the fourth. The Cavaliers sliced the margin to 85-73 on John Henson’s layup with just over nine minutes to play, but Tatum nailed a 3-pointer to spark a 7-0 spurt that pushed the Celtics ahead comfortably.

TIP-INS

Cavaliers: Kevin Love played his second straight game after being sidelined with an illness. He scored only seven points. … Collin Sexton came in averaging 20.6 points per game in his career against Boston, but went 1 for 8 in the first half. He finished with eight points.

Celtics: G Marcus Smart missed the game with an eye infection and center Robert Williams was sidelined with left hip soreness. … The Celtics won Nov. 5 at Cleveland in the clubs’ first meeting this season.

QUICK START

Boston hit seven of its initial 10 shots, opening its first double-digit lead (17-6) on Hayward’s fast-break layup — his first basket of the game — nearly halfway into the opening quarter. They led 29-18 after one.

SEATS FOR SOLDIERS

The Celtics and their season-ticket holders combined to give out more than 1,000 seats to the United Service Organizations.

MISSING FREEBIES

Thompson missed five of his first six free throw attempts and went 1 for 7 from the line. He shot 8 of 11 from the floor.

MOMENT OF SILENCE

The Celtics held a moment of silence before the national anthem for former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates, who died earlier in the day after a battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was 34.

Frates helped inspire the ALS ice bucket challenge that has raised more than $200 million worldwide.

UP NEXT

Cavaliers: Host the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

Celtics: At the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.