Thomas car­ries Celtics over Rap­tors

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - KEN POWTAK

Isa­iah Thomas scored 19 of his 44 points in the fi­nal quar­ter to lift the Bos­ton Celtics over the Toronto Rap­tors, 109-104, in Na­tional Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion ac­tion Wed­nes­day night in a show­down for first place in the At­lantic Di­vi­sion.

It was the fifth straight win for Bos­ton, which moved 1½ games ahead of the Rap­tors in the di­vi­sion and holds the East­ern Con­fer­ence’s No. 2 seed.

Jae Crowder scored 14 points for the Celtics and Al Hor­ford had 11. Thomas had 18 of Bos­ton’s fi­nal 23 points.

Kyle Lowry led Toronto with 32 points, for­mer Celtic Jared Sullinger had 13 and Nor­man Pow­ell added 12. The Rap­tors have lost seven of nine.

In a fi­nal quar­ter that ri­valled play­off in­ten­sity, Celtics for­ward Jaylen Brown was fouled on a break­away at­tempt and walked over and had words with Lowry — be­fore a few oth­ers player joined in and had to be sep­a­rated by the of­fi­cials. Bos­ton’s Terry Rozier and the Rap­tors’ DeMarre Car­roll were each given a tech­ni­cal foul.

With the Celtics trail­ing by eight, Thomas scored nine straight points to give them their first lead of the game — 95-94 on a driv­ing bas­ket with 4:39 to play. The lead changed hands six times over the next 3½ min­utes — with Thomas’s three­p­ointer giv­ing Bos­ton a 103-101 edge with 48.1 sec­onds left.

CHARLES KRUPP, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Rap­tors’ Patrick Pat­ter­son traps Celtics’ Isa­iah Thomas in the first quar­ter. Bos­ton won, 109-104.

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