Celtics hold off Raptors, avoid season sweep
BOSTON >> Isaiah Thomas scored 23 points, Evan Turner added 17 and the Boston Celtics beat the Toronto Raptors 91-79 on Wednesday night.
Avery Bradley finished with 16 points and eight rebounds as the Celtics won their third consecutive game.
Boston had what had been an eight-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter cut to a point. But the Celtics responded with a 10-4 run to get the separation they needed to close it out.
DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 21 points. Point guard Kyle Lowry sat out, resting a sore right elbow.
Toronto had a four-game winning streak snapped and fell 2 1/2 games behind Cleveland for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Toronto also played without forward Patrick Patterson, who missed his second straight game with a sore left ankle. The Celtics remained without starting forward Jae Crowder as he recovers from a right ankle sprain.
Toronto trailed 69-58 late in the third quarter before using a 10-0 run to get back into the game. The Celtics missed eight straight shots during the run.
But Boston responded with its 10-4 spurt, getting its lead back up to 79-72.
The first half was tight throughout, with 10 lead changes and neither team holding more than a three-point lead.
The Raptors stayed in the game despite shooting under 40 percent, and getting just four second-chance points.
Raptors: Shot just 34 percent from the field (31 of 89). ...Was 6 of 22 from the 3-point line.
Celtics: Thomas has scored 20 or more points in 11 straight games. ... Boston has won 16 of 18 at home. ... Crowder missed his sixth straight game.
Raptors: Visit Houston on Friday.
Celtics: Visit Phoenix on Saturday.
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