BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Celtics have a firmer grip on the No. 2 seed in the NBA's Eastern Conference following Wednesday's action.
Isaiah Thomas scored 27 points and Al Horford finished with 20 as the Celtics got past Minnesota, 117-104. Horford also had nine rebounds and eight assists for the Celts, who trailed by a basket before outscoring the Timberwolves by 10 in the third quarter.
The outcome leaves the Celtics 1 ½ games ahead of the No. 3 Washington Wizards, the Southeast Division leaders.
The Wizards were losers at home as Dirk Nowitzki scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to lead Dallas over Washington, 112-107. Harrison Barnes had 22 points for the Mavericks, who are three games behind Denver for the final Western Conference postseason berth.
John Wall had 26 points and 11 assists in the Wizards' second consecutive loss.
Checking out the rest of the NBA schedule:
— Damian Lillard scored 36 points and C.J. McCollum added 26 as Portland surprised the Spurs, 110-106 in San Antonio. Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 19 points and seven boards after missing two games with a minor heart arrhythmia. Kawhi Leonard had 34 points for the Spurs, who had won 11 of 12 before falling one game behind Golden State for the league's best record.
— Utah was a 97-83 winner at Detroit behind Gordon Hayward's 25 points and George Hill's 17. Hayward added eight rebounds and six assists, while Rudy Gobert had 12 points, nine rebounds and four blocks to help the Jazz win for the sixth time in seven games.
— Lou Williams scored 30 points against his former team and James Harden posted his 17th triple-double of the season to lead Houston's 139-100 laugher over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers. Harden had 18 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds as Houston handed the Lakers their 11th loss in 12 games.
— Memphis got 27 points apiece from Mike Conley and Marc Gasol in a 98-91 decision over the Bulls in Chicago. Conley and Gasol scored 18 of the team's 24 points in the fourth quarter.
— Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton each scored 16 points in Milwaukee's 97-96 win over the Clippers in Los Angeles. The Bucks improved to 11-5 since losing second-leading scorer Jabari Parker to a season-ending knee injury.
— The Heat won for the 22nd time in their last 27 games as Goran Dragic scored 33 points and Hassan Whiteside had another double-double in a 120-112 win against New Orleans. Wayne Ellington scored 19 for the Heat, who made 16 3-pointers in climbing within two games of .500.
— Paul George drained six 3-pointers while scoring 39 points to lead Indiana's 98-77 romp over Charlotte. Jeff Teague added eight points, eight rebounds and 11 assists for the Pacers, who went on a 15-0 run in the third quarter to go ahead by 18.
— Rookie Skal Labissiere scored 21 of his career-high 32 points in the final period of Sacramento's 107-101 victory at Phoenix. Labissiere scored the Kings' first 16 points of the fourth quarter.
THURSDAY'S GAMES (All Times EDT)
Oklahoma City at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Utah at Cleveland, 7 p.m.
Brooklyn at New York, 7:30 p.m.
Memphis at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.
L.A. Clippers at Denver, 9 p.m.
Orlando at Golden State, 10:30 p.m.