Isaiah Thomas' 20-point streak reaches 40 games in Celtics' win

Isaiah Thomas' 20-point streak reaches 40 games in Celtics' win

"Smart, via MassLive, initially offered a "no comment" when asked if he touched Butler on the play, but later said he "played helluva great defense right there, and I know I did", asserting that the referee only called the foul after Butler yelled, 'No foul?'"

Whether they acquire Butler, the Celtics sights are set squarely on the top spot in the Eastern Conference, which is held by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Smart keep coming up huge when it matters most. It's just the third time in the last 10 games that Johnson has reached double-digits in scoring.

NOTES: The Bulls played without starting G Dwyane Wade (right wrist, flu) and rookie F Paul Zipser (left ankle).

Jimmy Butler and Jerian Grant came out for the second half hot from three, giving the Bulls back the lead about four minutes into the third quarter.

Isaiah Thomas didn't light up the scoreboard in the opening 12 minutes, scoring just two points.

Isaiah Thomas' 20-point streak reaches 40 games in Celtics' win

Thomas also dished out seven assists.

Doug McDermott tied the game immediately with a three on the first possession of the second quarter, but the Celtics countered the Bulls over the next six minutes with lethal 3-PT shooting from James Young and yfBB's favorite Celtic Terry Rozier.

The Bulls won the third quarter in the ugliest fashion possible: lots of offensive rebounds, cutbacks and free throws. Portis passed his season high for points in a game with a little over a minute left in the quarter, and he looked more confident than he has in a very long time. But the Celtics managed to get within three, 81-78, heading into the fourth period. Olynyk scored 17 off the bench. Then Isaiah Thomas drove the paint and converted a layup with 5:45 left to put Boston up, 94-92, and give Thomas the new franchise mark with his 41st straight game of at least 20 points, breaking John Havlicek's old mark set back in the 1971-72 season.

The Bulls, though, blew three chances to take the lead and Smart swiped the ball off Butler for a crucial steal.

The best reaction came from Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. His two free throws with 1:56 put the Celtics up, 101-98.

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