The Boston Celtics are running out of time to catch the Toronto Raptors for the number one seed in the Eastern Conference but they boosted their chances with a 110-99 victory in the NBA on Saturday.
Boston broke open a close game late to win at TD Garden and pull within two games of the first-placed Raptors.
The Celtics trailed the Raptors by five games on March 19, but have now won six straight to tighten up the race in the east.
Even better, the Celtics (53-23) take a 2-1 lead on Toronto (55-21) in the season series, the first tiebreaker in the event the two teams end up in a tie atop the Eastern Conference.
The two rivals meet for the final time in the regular season in Toronto on Wednesday.
If the Celtics lose that meeting, they can virtually forget about the top seed. Win, and things will be extremely interesting the final week of the regular season.
Forward Marcus Morris continued his hot play of late, coming off the bench to knock down 25 points and adding nine rebounds.
The Celtics also got 20-plus nights from Jayson Tatum (24 points) and Terry Rozier (21).
Reigning NBA champions the Golden State Warriors beat the Sacramento Kings 112-96 but it was overshadowed by an injury to Patrick McCaw.
McCaw – a second-year guard – was carried off the court on a stretcher late in the third quarter after a scary landing following a collision with Vince Carter.
The 22-year-old was taken to hospital for further evaluation, the Warriors announced.
ROCKETS AT SPURS
Houston Rockets star James Harden continues rolling along toward NBA MVP honours. LaMarcus Aldridge has been just as valuable to the San Antonio Spurs this season in Kawhi Leonard's absence. It is not much of a stretch to think this game could be a preview of the Western Conference semi-finals, provided both teams win their first-round series.