BOSTON (AP) — Isaiah Thomas scored 35 points, Jae Crowder had 18 and the Boston Celtics rallied to beat the Orlando Magic 117-116 on Friday night to maintain their slim lead over Cleveland atop the Eastern Conference.
Boston’s Al Horford made a free throw with 1:22 left to make it 117-116, and then Orlando missed three shots down the stretch, including a driving layup attempt by Elfrid Payton with two seconds left.
The Celtics (49-27) entered with a half-game lead over the Cavaliers, who won easily against Philadelphia to preserve that margin.
Horford and Jaylen Brown each scored 12 points, and Boston won for the fifth time in six games.
Aaron Gordon scored 20 of his 32 points in the first half and had 16 rebounds, while Evan Fournier scored 20 points for the Magic. Payton dished out a career-high 15 assists and flirted with a triple-double, getting 12 points and nine rebounds.
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