Jae Crowder, Al Horford take charge as Thomas-less Celtics squeak past lowly Nets
Boston's Jae Crowder drives past Brooklyn's Quincy Acy. AP

THE Boston Celtics made it three straight wins, edging the lowly Nets, 98-95, on Friday in Brookyln (Saturday, Manila time).

With Isaiah Thomas out due to a bruised knee, the Celtics turned to Jae Crowder and Al Horford in the fourth quarter and got the slim win, their 44th in 69 outings.

Brooklyn gave Boston a scare and managed to tie the match several times, the last at 85 with four minutes left but went scoreless for the next two minutes.

Crowder scored 24 points and had 12 rebounds, while Horford had 14 points and was two rebounds short of a double-double.

Avery Bradley came up with 16 points and Marcus Smart added 12.

The Nets, coming off a win over the New York Knicks, absorbed their 55th loss in 68 games.

 Brook Lopez had 23 points and Randy Foye had 14 for Brooklyn.

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