The Celtics are running out of time to catch Toronto for the No. 1 seed in the East, but the Raptors are definitely hearing footsteps.
They heard the Celtics loud and clear Saturday night as Boston broke open a close game late to win at TD Garden, 110-99, to pull within two games of the first-place Raptors.
Boston trailed Toronto by five games March 19, but has now won six straight to tighten up the East race.
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 Wednesday in Toronto.
If the Celtics lose that meeting, they can virtually forget the No. 1 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. His biggest play: a 3 with a little more than four minutes remaining to pad the Celtics' lead to six. The Celtics also got 20-plus nights from Jayson Tatum (24 points) and Terry Rozier (21).
Morris, however, got ejected late in the game after being hit with two technicals following a couple of different bouts of jawing between the teams. Toronto's C.J. Miles and Serge Ibaka also picked up technicals.
"It was playoff intensity," Celtics center Al Horford told NBA TV afterward.
Look for that same intensity Wednesday when these two rivals meet in Toronto. They both face stiff challenges before that, the Raptors playing in Cleveland Tuesday, while the Celtics visit Milwaukee that same night.
Studs of the Night
The Knicks lost 115-109 to the Pistons, but you can't blame forward Michael Beasley, who posted 32 points on 14 of 21 from the floor.
Forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had a big night (20 points, 14 rebounds) in the Nets' 110-109 win in Miami.
Dud of the Night
Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. had a poor shooting night (2 of 14, 1 of 9 from 3-point range) but scored nine and added five rebounds in Washington's win over the Hornets.
John Wall, playing his first game since Jan. 25, makes this assist for a Marcin Gortat slam look so easy. He finished with 15 points and 14 assists in the Wizards' 107-93 win over the Hornets.
Klay Thompson, making his first appearance since early March, looked good in his return, scoring 25 points on 10-of-19 shooting.
Rockets (62-14) at Spurs (44-32) 3:30 p.m. ET — James Harden continues rolling along toward NBA MVP honors. LaMarcus Aldridge has been just as valuable to the Spurs this season in Kawhi Leonard's absence. It's not much of a stretch to think this game could be a preview of the Western Conference semifinals, provided both teams win their first-round series.