The Boston Celtics needed a big fourth quarter to beat Toronto Raptors. Isaiah Thomas took over in the final quarter again and scored 19 of his 44 points in the fourth to lead the Celtics to a 109-104 win versus the Raptors.
Thomas shot 12-of-22 field goals, including five three-pointers. The Celtics All-Star added 4 rebounds and 7 assists. Jae Crowder contributed 14 points and 8 rebounds while Al Horford had 11 points and 6 assists.
The Celtics have won five straight games and will now get an easy outing against the Los Angeles Lakers next. Boston was on a three-game losing streak before the current winning run. The wins came against four Eastern rivals and four games at home.
Big fourth for Isaiah Thomas again
“You have to trap him and get the ball out of his hands. He got three wide-open looks in the fourth. That can’t happen,” Kyle Lowry told ESPN about defending his counterpart point guard.
Meanwhile, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens was impressed with his starting PG saying he is playing a really high level the last few weeks. In Thomas’ last eight games, the point guard has scored 37 points or more six times.
After the win on Wednesday, the Celtics improved to 31-18 for the season and one-and-a-half games ahead of the Raptors (30-20). Boston is now just two-and-a-half games behind the East leaders Cleveland Cavaliers (33-15).
The Raptors led 30-28 after the first quarter then got the double-digit lead at halftime, 62-51. Kyle Lowry continued his scoring explosion with backcourt mate DeMar DeRozan out due to an injury. The Raptors PG had 32 points on 12-of-20 field goals with 5 assists and 2 steals.
No DeMar DeRozan for Toronto
Without DeRozan, other Raptors helped in the scoring. Norman Powell had 12 points in a starting role while Jared Sullinger and Lucas Nogueira added 13 points and 12 points off the bench.
But the Celtics made a run in the second half and outscored the Raptors, 32-19 in the final quarter. Toronto still had a chance late and had the lead, 101-100 with 1:04 to go in the game. Thomas made a three-pointer to give back the lead to Boston and made his free throws to hold off Toronto.
The Raptors are just 2-7 in their last nine games. They will face the struggling Orlando Magic in their next game.
Toronto Raptors vs Boston Celtics – Full Game Highlights | February 1, 2017 | 2016-17 NBA Season
Video courtesy: YouTube.com/Ximo Pierto Final
Photo Courtesy: Mike/Wikimedia Commons