BOSTON (AP) Isaiah Thomas scored 27 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, and the Boston Celtics recorded their ninth straight home victory, 112-107 over the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night.
The Celtics led by as many as 18 before Milwaukee trimmed it to single digits.
But Boston was able to beat back the threat thanks to some baskets late in the shot clock, and stops on the defensive end.
Milwaukee got the lead down to five on alley-oop pass from Middleton to Parker with just over 6 minutes to play.
The Celtics promptly responded with a 10-4 run, which included seven points from Thomas, to push the lead back up to 106-95.
Another Milwaukee spurt got it back to 106-100. Then after a folly-filled possession by the Celtics that included players slipping, a diving save and an eventual turnover by Bradley, the lead was reduced to four on a dunk by Middleton.
Boston’s next possession looked just as doomed before Thomas drove and at the last second flipped a pass behind his head to Crowder in the corner, who promptly drilled 3-pointer.
With both teams struggling from the perimeter in the first half, a lot of the offense came from inside.
Boston was 0 for 9 from the 3-point line in the half, but had 36 points in the paint. Milwaukee was 1 for 6 from deep, and had 30 paint points.
Bucks: Parker had eight straight Milwaukee points at one point in the fourth quarter. … Milwaukee outscored Boston 68-52 in the paint for the game.
Celtics: Thursday was the first double-figure scoring game for Amir Johnson since Jan. 15. He had totaled 10 points and seven rebounds in his previous four games. Kelly Olynyk missed his fourth straight game with a right shoulder sprain.
Bucks: Host Detroit on Saturday.
Celtics: Host Miami on Saturday.