Thomas leads Celtics past road-weary War­riors

New Straits Times - - Sport -

Isa­iah Thomas has made peace and the Bos­ton Celtics were able to turn things around with another em­phatic win in Oak­land.

Bos­ton stand­out Thomas scored 25 points as the Celtics snapped a two-game los­ing skid on Wed­nes­day with a 99-86 vic­tory over the Golden State War­riors in a bat­tle be­tween two NBA ti­tle con­tenders.

“We are fight­ers. We com­pete,” said Thomas. “We are just a bunch of com­peti­tors. We wanted to win to end the los­ing streak.”

The Celtics, who are fight­ing to hold onto the num­ber two seed in the East, had lost two straight head­ing into their show­down with Golden State, the Western Con­fer­ence’s top team.

To add to their dif­fi­cul­ties, lead­ing scorer Thomas went pub­lic with crit­i­cism of coach Brad Stevens’ coach­ing style af­ter Mon­day’s loss to the Los An­ge­les Clip­pers.

Bos­ton took charge af­ter a dunk by Dray­mond Green that gave the Celtics an 80-79 lead in a game that fea­tured eight lead changes and eight ties in the first 41 min­utes.

Jae Crow­der hit three-point­ers on con­sec­u­tive pos­ses­sions dur­ing a 15-0 fourth-quar­ter surge that helped pro­pel the Celtics to vic­tory.

Bos­ton im­proved to 41-24 on the sea­son and won for the sec­ond time in four games on their Western trip. That al­lowed the Celtics to re­main a game ahead of the Wash­ing­ton Wizards in the bat­tle for the No 2 play­off po­si­tion.

The road-weary War­riors fell to 52-12 as they lost for the third time in five games and saw their lead over red-hot San An­to­nio atop the West cut to 1 1/2 games.

Golden State played with­out Kevin Du­rant (sprained left knee), who tal­lied 23 points to lead the War­riors to a lop­sided win ear­lier in the sea­son at Bos­ton.

Klay Thomp­son scored 25 points and Stephen Curry scored 23 for the War­riors.

Else­where, Paul Ge­orge scored 21 points, Thad­deus Young had 18 points and eight re­bounds and CJ Miles added 15 points, and the In­di­ana Pac­ers de­feated the Detroit Pis­tons 115-98.

With the vic­tory, In­di­ana avoided slip­ping to .500 and com­pleted a four-game sea­son se­ries sweep of Detroit.

The Pac­ers were com­ing off three losses on a five-game road trip dur­ing which they lost at Mi­ami, San An­to­nio and Char­lotte.

In­di­ana now have a two-game lead over Detroit for the No 6 play­off spot in the Eastern Con­fer­ence.

In Mi­ami, Dion Wait­ers scored 24 points and Go­ran Dragic added 22 points and 10 as­sists to lead the Mi­ami Heat to a 108-101 win over the Char­lotte Hor­nets at Amer­i­canAir­lines Arena.

Dragic posted his fifth dou­ble­dou­ble of the sea­son as Mi­ami con­tin­ued their hot streak, win­ning for the 20th time in 24 games.

The Heat have won three straight, in­clud­ing two wins over the de­fend­ing league cham­pion Cleve­land Cava­liers.

RE­SULTS: Bos­ton 99 Golden State 86, Wash­ing­ton 123 Den­ver 113, San An­to­nio 114 Sacra­mento 104, Mil­wau­kee 104 NY Knicks 93, Toronto 94 New Or­leans 87, Utah 115 Hous­ton 108, Min­nesotA 107 LA Clip­pers 91, In­di­ana 115 Detroit 98, At­lanta 110 Brook­lyn 105, Mi­ami 108 Char­lotte 101, Orlando 98 Chicago 91.

Isa­iah Thomas

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