Celtics top Cavs as Spurs edge Pacers
The Boston Celtics upstaged defending NBA champions the Cleveland Cavaliers in a thriller, while it was a narrow win for the San Antonio Spurs against the Indiana Pacers.
In a battle of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics prevailed 103-99 on Wednesday.
Isaiah Thomas inspired the Celtics to their first win over the Cavs this season with 31 points on home court in Boston.
The Spurs had Kawhi Leonard to thank again for their 100-99 victory at home to the Pacers.
Returning from an eight-game road trip, All-Star Leonard had 31 points and 10 rebounds in a double-double display.
CELTICS OUTLAST CAVS IN INSTANT CLASSIC
If the Eastern Conference Finals are as good as Wednesday's Celtics clash, we are in for a treat come late May.
There were six ties and 10 lead changes in the fourth quarter as the Celtics (39-22) saw off LeBron James and the conference-leading Cavs (41-18).
James, who has led his team to the NBA Finals five seasons in success (the Miami Heat three times, the Cavs twice), posted 28 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for his seventh triple-double of the season and 49th of his career.
An 11th assist would have been enough for Cleveland to win the game, but Derrick Williams missed a three-point attempt with about four seconds left on the clock after receiving a cross-court pass from James, who passed out of an Isaiah Thomas-Jae Crowder double team.
SPURS EXTEND WINNING STREAK
The Spurs stayed hot as Leonard was at his brilliant best again.
Leonard made a fade-away jumper with 2.4 seconds remaining to lift the Spurs to a fifth consecutive win.
Paul George had 22 points for the visiting Pacers.
PISTONS SET RECORD BUT NOT A GOOD ONE!
In their 109-86 loss at the New Orleans Pelicans, the Detroit Pistons set a record for free-throw futility.
Detroit made just three of 17 attempts from the foul line, and the 17.6 make percentage is the worst for a single game in NBA history.
All the clutch plays from a thriller in Boston! pic.twitter.com/OHFJ1fgsNV— NBA (@NBA) March 2, 2017
WIZARDS END SKID
The Washington Wizards ended an eight-game losing streak with a 105-96 win against the Toronto Raptors, the Miami Heat held off the Philadelphia 76ers 125-98 and Karl-Anthony Towns' double-double helped the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Utah Jazz 107-80.
Elsewhere, the Denver Nuggets trumped the Milwaukee Bucks 110-98, the Atlanta Hawks defeated the Dallas Mavericks 100-95, the New York Knicks accounted for the Orlando Magic 101-90, the Houston Rockets topped the Los Angeles Clippers 122-103, while the Brooklyn Nets overcame the Sacramento Kings 109-100.
WARRIORS, THUNDER IN ACTION
Only three games are scheduled for Thursday but the Golden State Warriors are away to the Chicago Bulls and the Oklahoma City Thunder travel to the Portland Trail Blazers. The Charlotte Hornets will also face the Phoenix Suns.