Thomas scores 25; Celtics stay hot at home with 109-100 win

BOSTON (AP) - Isaiah Thomas scored 25 points, Avery Bradley had 18 with eight rebounds and the Boston Celtics beat the Indiana Pacers 109-100 on Wednesday night for their fifth win in six games.

Al Horford added 15 points with eight boards and eight assists, and Jae Crowder also scored 15 points for Boston, which won for the 12th time in 13 home games.

Paul George led the Pacers with 37 points and Jeff Teague had 25. Indiana has alternated by winning and losing in its last 15 games.

The Celtics turned a red-hot shooting third quarter into 39 points, pushing a seven-point halftime lead to 14 after three quarters.

Boston hit 17 of 25 shots from the field, with Marcus Smart’s last-second bank shot in the lane capping the shooting. He was fouled on the play and made the free throw, giving the Celtics an 88-74 lead entering the final quarter.

Thomas hit two 3-pointers and scored 11 points in the third.

George kept the Pacers in the game, though, scoring 14 in the quarter.

Trailing by 17 early in the fourth, the Pacers went on a 13-2 run to slice it to 95-89 on Teague’s 3-pointer.

Thomas then sandwiched a couple of breakaway layups around a turnaround by Horford to seal it.


Pacers: Gave up 100 or more points for just the third time in 14 games. They entered allowing just 98.8 points since the all-star break, second-best in the league. . Fell to 11-25 on the road.

Celtics: Coach Brad Stevens said before the game that he enjoyed having his team healthy and playing games with breaks in between. “It’s good to play a game, take a day off and play another game and still have the same amount of bodies,” he said. “It’s pretty unique.”


With the Pacers in the midst of a tight race for one of the East’s last few playoff spots for a while, coach Nate McMillan said facing playoff-type games the last couple of weeks will be nothing new.

“That mindset really started or should have started after the (all-star) break,” he said. “Being in a close race, as we are finishing this regular season, every game has to be played like that with the energy, effort and sense of urgency. The level of play goes up a lot after the break because teams understand the position that they’re in.”


Thomas scored in double figures for the 120th straight game, the longest streak by a Celtic since Antoine Walker went for 126 from March 2000-January 2002.


Pacers: Open a three-game home stand, beginning with Denver on Friday.

Celtics: Host Phoenix on Friday. They lost to the Suns when Tyler Ulis hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer in Phoenix on March 5.

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