ISAIAH Thomas lived up to his billing as the league’s top fourth quarter scorer with 19 of his 44 points in the final period, including the go-ahead triple with less than a minute left, to complete the Boston Celtics comeback from 18 points down against the Toronto Raptors, 109-104, at the TD Center on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time).
The Celtics trailed for most of the game, and faced an 18-point deficit, 75-57, with more than eight minutes left in the third before going on a 20-10 run to close the period and cut the gap to eight entering the fourth period.
After Kyle Lowry pushed the Raptors lead to 94-86 with a triple midway through the fourth, Thomas then scored nine unanswered points to give the Celtics a 95-94 edge with over four minutes to play. Lowry, though, would answer in scoring five straight for Toronto to regain control, 99-98, entering the final two minutes.
Norman Powell gave the Raptors their final taste of the lead but Thomas notched his second straight 40-point game with a triple that gave the Celtics a 103-101 advantage and would never look back. Thomas added four more free throws down the stretch and Al Horford stole the ball off a Powell pass to seal the win.
Thomas added seven assists and four rebounds to his tally to lead the Celtics to their fifth straight win and improve to 31-18. Jae Crowder added 14 points and Al Horford chipped in 11.
Lowry led the Raptors (30-20) with 32 points. Jared Sullinger and Powell added 13 and 12 markers, respectively.