THE Celtics regained the top spot in the Eastern Conference with a 114-105 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday in Boston (Tuesday, Manila time).
Isaiah Thomas led the way as usual for Boston, which took control early with a 28-13 first quarter and were never threatened.
Boston claimed the Atlantic Division title for the first time since the 2011-12 season.
The Celtics notched their second straight win and 52nd in 81 games to move to the top spot as the Cleveland Cavaliers slipped to second with a 51-30 record.
The Cavaliers, who rested LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, bowed to the Miami Heat, their third straight after back-to-back losses to the Atlanta Hawks.
Thomas wound up with 17 points, making 10 of 21 field goal attempts.
Al Horford scored 19, while Avery Bradley added 18.
Jeremy Lin scored 26 and Brook Lopez added 26 for Brooklyn.