Isaiah Thomas scored 14 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter as visiting Boston pulled away to top New Orleans. Brandon Bass had 17 points for the Celtics, who hit 10-of-23 from 3-point range and made 22-of-25 free throws. Evan Turner scored 16 points and Jae Crowder finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and four steals for Boston.
Anthony Davis scored 29 points and hauled in 14 rebounds while Eric Gordon had 20 points for the Pelicans, who had won six of their previous seven games. Luke Babbitt scored 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting off the bench and Tyreke Evans added 11 as New Orleans fell a game behind Oklahoma City for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Celtics led by as many as 11 points in the second quarter but scored just one point in the final four-plus minutes of the half as the Pelicans used 16 points and seven rebounds by Davis to forge a 47-47 tie at the break. Thomas had a tiebreaking three-point play near the end of the third quarter and then opened the scoring in the fourth with a 3-pointer to make it 74-68.
Thomas drained two more triples moments later and hit all three free throws after being fouled behind the arc to push the lead to 85-73 with eight minutes left. New Orleans pulled within 97-90 on a free throw by Davis with 38 seconds to go but Turner answered with a three-point play to help put it away.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Evans had seven of the Pelicans’ 18 turnovers. … Davis is averaging 34 points and 13.5 rebounds in two games since returning from a shoulder injury. … Thomas has scored at least 20 points in six of eight games since being traded to Boston last month.
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