Isaiah Thomas leads late surge as streaking Celtics erase 18-point deficit to beat Raptors
Isaiah Thomas had 18 of Boston's final 23 points in the comeback win over Toronto. AP

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. 

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