The red-hot Boston Celtics gave their fans more reasons to celebrate, edging reigning NBA champions the Golden State Warriors for their 14th successive victory.
Boston rallied past Golden State to extend their winning streak thanks to a 92-88 triumph on Thursday.
The Warriors led by as many as 17 points, but a fearless second-half run led the Celtics back into contention.
Building off an emphatic home atmosphere, the Celtics ground out another win despite struggling to shoot from the field.
WARRIORS ARE STILL OPERATING IN FIRST GEAR
The Warriors know they are going to make the playoffs, but they looked like a team sleep-walking, almost going through the motions. Boston's defense has been tough, and two-time MVP Stephen Curry was ice-cold most of the game, yet Golden State's energy level still seemed down.
Too often, the Warriors settled for tough outside shots or contested shots around the rim. Their normal quick-pass offense was replaced by isolation and blindly chucking up three-pointers. The Warriors turned in a lazy display offensively, which is something they would not do in the in the postseason.
CELTICS KEEP FINDING NEW WAYS TO WIN
While the Celtics sometimes fail to pass the eye test, they have now won 14 straight games. Stifling defense and late-game offensive efficiency have been their keys to victory, and on Thursday, they held the Warriors to just 41 second-half points.
Boston closed out the third quarter on a 19-2 run even though the Warriors had been dominating teams in the penultimate period. All five Celtics starters scored in double figures, making key shots and free throws in the second half. Kyrie Irving, while hearing "MVP" chants late in the fourth quarter, scored 16 points with six assists.
Shooting is a concern for the Celtics. They shot just 32.9 per cent from the field, and an ugly 21.9 per cent from three-point range. Gordon Hayward's presence has been missed, but the Celtics cannot be stopped right now.
BROWN COULD BE CELTICS' X-FACTOR
Jaylen Brown scored 22 points on three of eight shooting from beyond the arc. The third overall in last year's draft, Brown has flashed dynamic athleticism getting to the basket. Though not known as a pure shooter, Brown has worked on his shot, leading to a more fluid stroke and more complete offensive game overall.
Brown's energy and versatility helped lead the Celtics back into the game during their third-quarter run. If he can become a more consistent offensive threat, by working on his outside shooting, he could emerge as Boston's third offensive star.
BROWN LEADS THE WAY
The 21-yeard-old forward helped the Celtics to a 19-2 run in the third quarter.
|Molinari on course for Race to Dubai title, Smith and Otaegui lead|
|Premier League to implement VAR from 2019-20 season|
|FSF urges Premier League clubs to reject Scudamore ´golden handshake´ request|
|Rhinos pull off Merrin coup|
|Ribery apologises for reporter altercation|
|Ford to captain much-changed England, Cokanasiga starts|
|Crotty replaces injured Williams for Ireland showdown|
|Classy Roshen gives Sri Lanka unlikely lead|
|Injured Lukaku out of Belgium-Iceland Nations League clash|
|Rooney ´passionate´ about future coaching career|
|Mehidy spins Tigers to victory despite second Taylor hundred|
|Rooney deserves special England day - Antonio|
|LeBron thinks back to his roots after latest milestone|
|Messi to return for Argentina next year - General manager Burruchaga|
|Walton salutes LeBron after he surpasses Chamberlain|
|Croatia´s Dalic and Modric not out for Spain revenge|
|Rondo to miss ´a few weeks´ with broken hand|
|Gabi, Juanfran hopeful over Oblak´s Atletico future|
|England rookie Wilson not comparing himself to Kane|
|WATCH: The baskets that moved LeBron James up the all-time NBA scoring list|
|LeBron moves into fifth on scoring list, 76ers fall in Butler´s debut|
|LeBron James into top five NBA scorers: Five quotes from league legends on his greatness|
|LeBron passes Chamberlain for fifth on all-time scoring list|
|Butler: 76ers need time to gel|
|South Africa lose 28-9 in Windies defeat|
|Delph impressed by ´special´ Sancho|
|Bolt may give up on football career despite ´a lot of offers´|
|We´re better than Dortmund – Wagner urges Bayern to respond|
|Raptors fans give former coach Casey standing ovation in return|
|Martinez hails Hazard leadership|
|Muller going through ´difficult´ period, says Low|
|Betances wants Yankees to sign Machado|
|Rays´ Snell, Mets´ deGrom win Cy Young Awards|
|Dinwiddie to debut Stan Lee-inspired shoes against Heat|
|Iberostar Tenerife and Segafredo Virtus Bologna stay perfect in BCL|
|Rooney wanted to finish career at Manchester United|
|Red Sox give manager Cora contract extension through at least 2021|
|WATCH: Ronnie O´Sullivan hits blue with calamitous break-off shot|
|Matuidi: Mbappe has a great personality, like Ronaldo, Messi and Zlatan|
|Cilic beats Isner to hand Djokovic semi-final spot|
|Mendy undergoes knee surgery|
|Warriors´ Curry will not play during three-game road trip|
|Ramos refuses to retaliate after Lovren jibe|
|Qatar pull off shock win over Switzerland|
|Tuilagi could make England return against Australia|
|Rooney has earned England reward - Sarachan|
|Croatia thrashing means nothing now – Luis Enrique|
|Chelsea and Everton among Arnautovic suitors, claims agent|
|TJ Watt hopes to win NFL sacks race with brother JJ|
|Modric defends Ramos after Lovren comments|
|Southgate hails ´outstanding´ Delph as he talks up England strength in depth|
|No war with Manchester United over Fellaini, insists Martinez|
|Rooney to wear number 10 shirt against USA and receive armband from Delph|
|I don´t feel pressure of Liverpool expectations, claims Klopp|
|Steelers´ Roethlisberger texted Bell but ´didn’t hear back´|
|Reus and Kroos to sit out Germany´s clash with Russia|
|Van Dijk happy to recommend De Ligt if Liverpool ask|
|Sauber announce launch of junior programme|
|No ´breathtaking tennis´ in Djokovic´s win against Zverev|
|Curran: England spinners will be key in Kandy|
|Djokovic charges past Zverev to move closer to ATP Finals progression|
|Messi is a football alien - Malcom|
|Sky´s the limit for Sancho, says Dortmund team-mate Pulisic|
|Radwanska retires from tennis at 29|
|Maybe one day - Pulisic open to Premier League move|
|Suso ´proud´ of Real Madrid speculation but happy at AC Milan|
|Betis president convinced Lo Celso will stay|
|Injured Holder out of Bangladesh tour|
|Germany face relegation, final spots up for grabs - Nations League state of play|
|James Rodriguez out for several weeks with knee injury|