ISAIAH Thomas scored 33 points, 13 in the fourth quarter, to lead the streaking Celtics past the Philadelphia 76ers, 116-108, on Wednesday in Boston (Thursday, Manila time).
It was a special night for Thomas who tied John Havlicek’s record after he scored 20 or more points for the 40th straight time, a record set in 1972.
Marcus Smart came up with 21 points and eight steals for Boston which has won four in a row and 11 of its last 12.
The Celtics had to shake off a poor start and a season-high 24 turnovers, relying on a big run to seal the win.
With the game tied 61-all at the half, the Celtics opened the third quarter with a 12-2 run to create some space. The Sixers stayed in the game and even managed to take the lead with eight minutes remaining on a dunk by Nerlens Noel.
This was when Thomas took over, scoring nine straight points and pushing the Celtics back in the lead.
Philadelphia tied the game at 101 but Boston went on a 13-2 run to close the game.
Dario Saric had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the 76ers who saw their three-game win streak come to an end.
Robert Covington scored 18 points but had to leave the game in the fourth period after he crashed into the Celtics bench while diving for a loose ball.
After struggling in the second and third quarters, he scoring nine straight Celtics points to put them back in front 101-99 with 5:42 left.
76ers rookie Joel Embiid missed his 10th straight game with a bruised left knee. He will make the trip to New Orleans for All-Star weekend, but will not participate in the Skills Challenge or Rising Stars game.