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Celtics rule in Atlantic

NO ROOM: The Heat’s Dion Waiters tries to get a shot up against the Hawks’ DeAndre Bembry.

Associated Press

NO ROOM: The Heat’s Dion Waiters tries to get a shot up against the Hawks’ DeAndre Bembry.

BOSTON — Isaiah Thomas scored 19 of his 44 points in the final quarter to lift the Celtics over the Raptors 109-104 Wednesday night in a showdown for first place in the Atlantic Division.

It was the fifth straight win for Boston, which moved 1½ games ahead of the Raptors in the division and holds the Eastern Conference's No. 2 seed.

Jae Crowder scored 14 for the Celtics, and former Florida standout Al Horford had 11. Thomas had 18 of Boston's final 23.

Kyle Lowry led Toronto with 32, former Celtic Jared Sullinger had 13, and Norman Powell added 12. The Raptors have lost seven of nine.

In a final quarter that had playoff intensity, Celtics forward Jaylen Brown was fouled on a breakaway attempt and walked over and had words with Lowry before a few other players joined in and had to be separated by the officials. Boston's Terry Rozier and the Raptors' DeMarre Carroll each was given a technical.

Game Highlights: LeBron James scored 27 points, Kyrie Irving had a career-high 14 assists and the host Cavaliers defeated the Timberwolves 125-97. … Goran Dragic scored 27 and the host Heat pushed the NBA's longest current winning streak to nine by easing past the Hawks 116-93. … C.J. Miles scored 16, Glenn Robinson III added 14 and the visiting Pacers held on to beat the Magic 98-88. … Kristaps Porzingis had 19 points and 12 rebounds as the visiting Knicks edged out the Nets 95-90.

Around the League: Warriors center Zaza Pachulia has a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder and will be sidelined for at least a week. … LeBron James was named the latest recipient of the NAACP's Jackie Robinson Sports Award. James joins former Browns running back Jim Brown and former Bulls star Michael Jordan as recipients of the award for "high achievement in athletics and contributions in the pursuit of social justice, civil rights and community involvement." "I am so appreciative that they would even want me to be a recipient of the award, and it just goes back to what Jackie meant," James said. "Not only playing the game that he played, but what he used that platform to do. To stand up and be the man that he was through those difficult times, for a bigger cause."

Celtics rule in Atlantic 02/01/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 1, 2017 11:12pm]
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