Celtics Defeat Raptors 109-104! Move 3 Wins Clear of 2nd, Thomas Drops 44pts
Isaiah Thomas has started a new trend that's growing with each fantastic fourth quarter. Thomas scored 19 of his 44 points in the final quarter to lift the Boston Celtics over the Toronto Raptors 109-104 on
Wednesday night in a showdown for first place in the Atlantic Division.
When Thomas hits a shot in the fourth now, his teammates and many in the stands look down at their wrists, simulating looking at a watch to signal that it's Thomas' time.
"I just did it one game and it kept going," he said. "I've got teammates, the fans, signs, everybody in social media is saying: 'You know what time it is.'"
In his last game, Thomas had 24 in the fourth in a victory over Detroit. He's had four games with 20 or more in the fourth. No other player in the league entered Wednesday with more than one.
"You have to trap him and get the ball out of his hands," Toronto guard Kyle Lowrysaid. "He got three wide-open looks in the fourth. That can't happen."
It was the fifth straight win for Boston, which moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the Raptors in the division and holds the Eastern Conference's No. 2 seed.
Jae Crowder scored 14 points for the Celtics and Al Horford had 11. Thomas had 18 of Boston's final 23 points.
"He's playing at a really high level," Boston coach Brad Stevens said of his 5-foot-9 point guard.
Lowry led Toronto with 32 points, former Celtic Jared Sullinger had 13 and Norman Powell added 12. The Raptors have lost seven of nine.
In a final quarter that rivaled playoff intensity, Celtics forward Jaylen Brown was fouled on a breakaway attempt and walked over and had words with Lowry before a few others player joined in and had to be separated by the officials. Boston's Terry Rozierand the Raptors' DeMarre Carroll were each given a technical foul.
ON SECOND THOUGHT
Thomas had planned on changing his number at some point, but with a nickname "IT4" and fans buying his jersey, he's had a change of heart.
"I probably won't change it. I wanted to, but it's getting tougher and tougher," he said. "You see a lot of people with No. 4 jerseys, and I would feel bad for those that pay their hard-earned money to buy a No. 4 jersey."
Stevens talked about the play of Lowry before the game, admiring both the overall guard play in the league and that of Toronto's star.
"There are so many guards right now that can make exceptional plays off the dribble," he said. "Maybe more so and a higher efficiency than I've seen before, and Lowry's one of the best of them."'
Thomas hit a 36-foot 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left to cap off his 16-point first quarter.
Raptors: At Orlando on Friday in the second of three straight on the road. They've split two meetings against the Magic this season.
Celtics: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night in the first meeting this season between the longtime rivals.
To Top It Off...