Gordon Hayward praised the Boston Celtics for bouncing back against the Charlotte Hornets as he hailed "stop sign" Enes Kanter.

The Celtics rebounded from their loss to the Toronto Raptors by easing past the Hornets 109-92 in the NBA on Tuesday.

Hayward, who had 21 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in the win, said defensive improvement was key for the Celtics.

"It was a good bounce-back win for us," he told a news conference.

"I think we tightened it up defensively – I think that was the big key we were trying to focus on after some slippage. I think that was the biggest deal for us."

While Hayward, Kemba Walker (22 points) and Jayson Tatum (24) again starred, Kanter delivered off the bench.

Kanter finished with 13 points, 14 rebounds and a career-high six blocks as the Celtics improved to 23-8.

"I didn't realise it was six blocks. That's pretty big time," Hayward said.

"He's been telling people he's a stop sign. I hope that he's going to continue to be a stop sign for us. We need him on that end."

The Celtics host the struggling Atlanta Hawks on Friday.

Enes Kanter wanted to win, leading to his decision to sign with the Boston Celtics.

The 27-year-old center inked a two-year, $10million contract with the Celtics earlier this month.

He discussed his decision to head to Boston during an interview with USA Today's HoopsHype.

"It's my ninth year in the league and I understand that, for many people, the money is important," Kanter said.

"For me, the most important thing is being with a team that you're really happy on and playing with a team that's competing for a championship. That was the big thing for me. For everybody else, the money matters [more]. For me, the number one thing was winning."

Kanter began the season with the New York Knicks but was released after the trade deadline. He then signed with the Portland Trail Blazers, where he averaged 13.1 points and 8.6 rebounds in 23 games.

Kanter was also a reliable scorer in the playoffs for the Trail Blazers, who advanced to the Western Conference finals before falling to the Golden State Warriors in four games.

"When I was with the Knicks, the season wasn't going the way that I wanted," Kanter said. "I wanted to go out there and win. I'm glad that I picked Portland [after being waived]. Portland was definitely one of the best stops of my career. It helped me grow into a better player and a better person at the same time."

The Celtics' roster underwent a major overhaul this offseason. They lost Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets), Al Horford (Philadelphia 76ers) and Marcus Morris (Knicks) in free agency but signed star Kemba Walker away from the Charlotte Hornets, in addition to Kanter.

"The reason I went [to Boston] is for a championship," Kanter said. "I feel like the team is really young and willing to learn and we have an amazing group of guys. I feel like we can beat any team on any floor. All we have to do is just be good friends and stay together … It's definitely going to be a very, very exciting season."

The Celtics entered last season as the favourites to win the East but finished with a 49-33 record and were eliminated by the Milwaukee Bucks in five games in the conference semi-finals.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.