The Toronto Raptors have secured a spot in the NBA playoffs with a little help from the New York Knicks.
The Raptors clinched a berth in the postseason on Wednesday night after the Chicago Bulls dropped a 115-107 decision to New York.
Toronto, which fell 91-79 to Boston on Wednesday, is on pace to claim its third straight Atlantic Division title with a 48-22 record. The Raptors are just one victory away from tying the franchise’s single-season record for wins, which was set last year. Toronto has been one of the hottest teams in the league in the second half of the season, winning 17 of its past 19 games at Air Canada Centre to run its home record to 28-8.
The Raptors began a three-game road trip on Wednesday. Seven of their last 12 regular-season games will be played away from Air Canada Centre.The Raptors’ trip started, however, with a loss, as Isaiah Thomas scored 23 points and Evan Turner added 17 as the Celtics beat the visitors. Avery Bradley finished with 16 points and eight rebounds as the Celtics won their third consecutive game.
Boston had what had been an eight-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter cut to a point. But the Celtics responded with a 10-4 run to get the separation they needed to close it out.
DeMar DeRozan led the Raptors with 21 points. Point guard Kyle Lowry sat out, resting a sore right elbow.
Toronto had a four-game winning streak snapped and fell 2 1/2 games behind Cleveland for the best record in the Eastern Conference.