NBA: Thomas takes charge as Celtics beat 76ers for ninth successive game

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (#4) walking off the court after his team defeated the Philadelphia 76ers on Dec 3, 2016.
Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (#4) walking off the court after his team defeated the Philadelphia 76ers on Dec 3, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS/USA TODAY SPORTS

PHILADELPHIA (AFP) - Isaiah Thomas scored the go-ahead lay-up with 30 seconds left, as the Boston Celtics defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 107-106 on Saturday.

He finished with 37 points to match his season high and fell one point short of his career high, as Boston won for the third time in four games and the sixth time in eight.

"I just love the fourth quarter," Thomas said. "I just want to win, whether it's making plays for myself or making plays for my team-mates.

"I get ultra-aggressive in that fourth quarter and that's what I've always done."

Thomas scored 12 straight Boston points in one stretch of the fourth quarter and had a total of 13 in the quarter in front of a crowd of 17,000 at the Wells Fargo Arena.

"Some guys get a little tight, a little timid," he said. "I embrace it. I want to be great. I want to be somebody my team-mates can call on when the game is close."

Avery Bradley added 20 points for Boston, who beat the 76ers for the ninth consecutive time. Al Horford had 11, and Jae Crowder contributed 10.

Rookie forward Dario Saric tied his career highs of 21 points and 12 rebounds for Philadelphia, who dropped their six straight.

Ersan Ilyasova scored 18 points for the Sixers, while Sergio Rodriguez and Jahlil Okafor had 15 each.