To give you an idea of just how good Thomas has been in the clutch during the 5-game winning streak, he's averaged 16.0 points, 2.5 assists, 57.1 FG %, 44.4 3PT%, and 100 FT% JUST in the fourth quarters of these games. The Celtics went 10-4 in that span.
The newly crowned Eastern Conference Player of the Month strengthened his case for MVP consideration with his latest performance during the Celtics' second half comeback win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.
Afterwards, he mentioned a quote from Toronto's Jonas Valanciunas the last time these two teams met as his prime motivator.
"I just did it one game and it kept going", he said. We did it some, but he got three open looks in the fourth, wide-open threes. Patrick Patterson also had a big miss on a potential game-changing three-pointer and the Raptors just weren't crisp enough, often enough.
Lowry said it came down to not having an answer for Thomas. "But we just try to mix it up as much as possible with him on the ball, off the ball, screening, cutting, whatever the case may be". "We held this team to 41 per cent shooting percentage, we shot 52, we won the rebounding".
Toronto was once again without all-star guard DeMar Derozan, still bothered by a sore right ankle, and his absence was compounded by a series of circumstances that resulted in some unique looks and moments. Everyone is now well accustomed to the fact that the fourth quarter is IT time.
"I got to do a better job with that", Powell said of the fouls. "He's getting there, putting in extra time after practice, off days, after games, so I'm really impressed with the way he is working".
"It's a learning experience for me knowing foul and time and situation but I got to play through it and find a way to make up for it", he said. Oh, by the way, he didn't even play (nor does he average participating in) the full 12 minutes of it.
For a half and a good chunk of the third quarter it looked like the Raptors might just run away with this one but again, life in the National Basketball Association isn't that easy.
Thomas scored eight consecutive points midway through the third to get the Celtics their first lead.
The Boston Celtics' Isaiah Thomas today was named the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month for games played in January, and the Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant were selected as co-winners of the Western Conference honor.
Hurting the Raptors' cause in a big way was an uncharacteristic poor night from the free throw line.
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