BOSTON -- Isaiah 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.
It was the fifth straight win for Boston, which moved 1 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.
Kyle 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 Rozier and the Raptors' DeMarre Carroll were each given a technical (see full recap).
James, Irving lead Cavs past Timberwolves
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 27 points, Kyrie Irving had 14 and a career-high 14 assists and the Cleveland Cavaliers, coming off a losing record in January, defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 125-97 on Wednesday night.
Cleveland, which went 7-8 last month, began February looking like the defending NBA champions. The Cavaliers held a three-point halftime lead and took control midway through the third quarter. James' three-point play gave the Cavaliers a 90-70 lead.
Cleveland All-Star forward Kevin Love missed his second straight game because of back spasms, but the Cavaliers had five players in double figures in scoring.
James was 11 of 14 from the field, and Irving scored 14 points. Kyle Korver added 20 points, while Channing Frye, starting in place of Love, had 18 points. Tristan Thompson had 18 points and 14 rebounds.
Karl-Anthony Towns led Minnesota with 26 points and Andrew Wiggins added 23 (see full recap).
Porzingis, subs help Knicks rally past Nets
NEW YORK -- Kristaps Porzingis had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and joined a group of mostly substitutes who led a big fourth-quarter turnaround that carried the New York Knicks to a 95-90 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.
Carmelo Anthony had 15 points for the Knicks, but he was on the bench for the entire fourth quarter after shooting 6 for 22 from the field. Instead, the Knicks rallied behind Willy Hernangomez, who had 16 points and 16 rebounds, and Sasha Vujacic, who made team history by converting a pair of four-point plays in the game.
The only other starter on the floor for the comeback was Brandon Jennings -- and he was only starting because point guard Derrick Rose remained out with a sprained ankle.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 16 for the Nets, who lost their seventh straight and fell to 0-9 against Atlantic Division opponents this season (see full recap).