Boston Celtics claim top seed in the Eastern Conference

The Celtics (52-29) built a 27-point lead in the third quarter, but a 37-point quarter and then another charge in the fourth got the Nets, who scored 40 in the first half, to within six in the fourth. Heck, it seemed improbable just a week ago.

What's at stake: With a win, Celtics clinch the No. 1 seed in Eastern Conference. Let that sink in.

Gerald Green scored 18 points, 10 of them in a 25-2 fourth-quarter run, and the Boston Celtics beat the resting Milwaukee Bucks 112-94 at home in the regular-season finale on Wednesday night to claim the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Boston shrugged off an unimpressive first three quarters on Fan Appreciation Night and ran away with a 112-94 victory.

And while Thomas' success mostly is a testament to his own hard work, the Celtics point guard also has benefited from others around him - most notably newcomer Al Horford.

The Bucks were already locked into the sixth seed and a first-round matchup with third-seeded Toronto, allowing them to rest Antetokounmpo, Tony Snell, Matthew Dellavedova and Khris Middleton. Everyone was a go for the C's.

The Bulls and Celtics split their four-game series in the regular season (2-2), with the home team winning each time.

NY Times jumps the gun on Pulitzer Prize announcement
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"It's very special. For me it is", Thomas said. Twenty-two of them have gone to No. 1 seeds.

Dwyane Wade: "It's what I play for now, is the playoffs".

"We've come a long way. I don't know when - but I'm going to make it tough for him", said Butler, who admitted that limiting Thomas will take a team effort after the Bulls practice on Friday. They were barely thinking playoffs.

April 12, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) celebrates in the final moments of the Boston Celtics 112-94 win over the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden. The Celtics have more firepower on offense and will be too much for Chicago's defense to contain. But, yes, there was some good fortune along the way.

In Monday's Jimmy's Take, our WKYC Channel 3 Sports Director again states his belief that the Cavs will shift to another gear once the playoffs begin, and no one in the East will be able to handle the defending NBA Champions in a 7 game series. "You put your signature on your work every day and you move forward", Stevens explained Saturday afternoon of the team's mantra. A similar fate this spring would be unacceptable. Looking Russell Westbrook, Isaiah Thomas has the same perspective in leading a team and helping them become effective. There are expectations and a significant degree of pressure to perform.

"I like this group, we have good, experienced guys", Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. Boston hasn't proven itself enough to be a guaranteed victor over anyone. But then they took 20 steps back with two head-scratching losses to the Atlanta Hawks. And who could blame them?

Thomas hasn't proved himself as a victor in the postseason, but he's highly motivated to do so this year, especially after a regular season in which he put himself in the MVP conversation with his offensive wizardry.

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