Isaiah Thomas scored a career-high 52 points including 29 in the fourth quarter as the Boston Celtics beat the Miami Heat 117-114 on Friday.
Thomas’ performance eclipsed his previous single game high of 44, set 10 days earlier.
“That fourth quarter, it just felt like I was out there by myself, working on my game in the gym,” said Thomas. “Throwing up everything and it was going in. It was a special feeling.”
It was the fourth-highest scoring total in Celtics’ history, behind Larry Bird’s 60 in 1985, Kevin McHale’s 56 in 1985 and Bird’s 53 in 1983.
Thomas, who outscored the entire Miami starting lineup 52-51, scored 29 of the Celtics’ 35 points in the final quarter, with the last basket coming on a three pointer from well behind the arc.
He hit six three-pointers in the quarter and finished the game nine of 13 from three-point range and 13 of 13 from the foul line.
Bird (1983) and Darren Daye (1995) had held the club record with 24 points in a fourth quarter.
Asked if he thinks he belongs in the conversation regarding the league’s best scorers, Thomas said, “I do. The only reason I do is because I’m 5-foot-9.
“They don’t talk about me like they do all the other guys, but I’m fine with it.”
Despite coming into the game averaging 6.3 assists, Thomas didn’t have any this time.
In Houston, James Harden collected his seventh triple double of the season to lead the Houston Rockets to a 140-116 win over the Los Angeles Clippers, who lost both head coach Doc Rivers and his son Austin to ejections in the first half.
Houston’s second-year forward Montrezl Harrell scored a career-high 29 points off the bench to fuel Houston’s win over the Clippers at Toyota Center.
Austin Rivers was kicked out he missed a layup and pushed official J.T. Orr with 6:38 to play in the second quarter. Rivers then yelled at Orr and waved his arms at him.
Meanwhile, James Harden recorded his seventh triple-double of the season while Montrezl Harrell scored a career-high 29 points off the bench to fuel the Houston Rockets’ 140-116 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.
Harden finished with 30 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists while Harrell helped finish off the Clippers with 13 fourth-quarter points.
Houston led by 25 points midway through the second quarter but needed Harden and Harrell to carry it to victory.
Reserve guard Raymond Felton paired 26 points with eight assists off the bench while center DeAndre Jordan added 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Clippers, who dropped their fifth consecutive game.
Los Angeles guard Austin Rivers and coach Doc Rivers were ejected 25 seconds apart in the second quarter, with the former sent to the locker room following his contact with official J.T. Orr.
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Austin Rivers said. “I reacted to the play. I had no idea (Orr) was there. I was backing up and I said, ‘Call the foul.’ When I did it I was turning and he was right there and my elbow touched him. I’ve never in my career put my hands on a ref and I don’t ever plan to.