Big second half lifts Celtics to 117-104 win over Timberwolves

Big second half lifts Celtics to 117-104 win over T-Wolves
Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Gorgui Dieng (5) battle for a rebound during the second half of an NBA game in Boston. The Celtics defeated the Timberwolves 117-104. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

By Kyle Hightower, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) -- Isaiah Thomas scored 27 points to lead the Boston Celtics past the Minnesota Timberwolves 117-104 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time).

Al Horford added 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Celtics, who earned their 11th straight home win over Minnesota. Boston also increased its lead to 1.5 games over the Washington Wizards for the second seed in the Eastern Conference.

Ricky Rubio had a season-high 23 points to lead the Timberwolves, who dropped to just 10-21 on the road this season.

Boston led by eight entering the fourth quarter, but outscored Minnesota 32-27 in the final 12 minutes.

The Celtics got a three-pointer from Jaylen Brown and a layup by Jonas Jerebko to extend their lead to 13 at the start of the fourth. That lead grew to as many as 19 at one point.

Both teams shot over 50 percent in fast-paced first half.

The Timberwolves led 60-58 at the break and were aggressive throughout the half, leading by as many as 10 points and outscoring the Celtics 24-18 in the paint.

TIP-INS

Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns posted his 51st double-double of the season. Lance Stephenson was helped to the locker room after being injured early in the fourth quarter. Were held to just 17 points in the third quarter.

Celtics: Thomas extended his streak of consecutive games with a three-pointer to 44 games. Thomas scored 14 points in the second quarter. Wore special gold-trimmed green jerseys in honor of St. Patrick’s Day since they'll be on the road.

UP NEXT

Timberwolves: Continue road trip Friday (Saturday, PHL time) at Miami.

Celtics: Begin two-game road trip at Brooklyn on Friday (Saturday, PHL time).