Thomas shines against former team, Celtics top Suns

Phoenix, AZ ( - Isaiah Thomas stared at the Phoenix Suns' bench following a four-point play late in the fourth quarter.

He then smiled at them at bit later following a beautiful reverse layup with his off hand.

It was quite a homecoming.

Thomas finished with 21 points and seven assists against his former team as the Boston Celtics defeated the Suns 115-110 on Monday night.

After acquiring Thomas in a sign-and-trade with the Sacramento Kings in July, the Suns decided to part ways with the lightning quick guard prior to Thursday's trade deadline. Boston sent Phoenix Marcus Thornton and a 2016 first-round draft pick in exchange for Thomas.

"I just wanted to get a win at the end of the day but it feels good to beat the team that traded you away," Thomas said.

Avery Bradley had 23 points and six steals, while Brandon Bass added 18 points and six rebounds for the Celtics, who had dropped three of their last four games coming in.

Eric Bledsoe posted 21 points, nine assists and seven boards and Alex Len supplied 10 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks for Phoenix, which has lost eight of its last nine contests.

"Well when you get down 20, you're fighting an uphill battle the hole game. Then we hit a couple right there at the end and got right there, but then had a couple of turnovers. It's hard to battle back," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said.

Brandon Knight, who made his home debut after being acquired from the Milwaukee Bucks Thursday, netted 20 points.

After consecutive Bledsoe 3-pointers cut the Suns' deficit to 101-100 with 1:47 remaining, Thomas answered with his two highlight-reel buckets.

He nailed his 3 over Knight from the right wing, then sliced down the middle of the lane a possession later, leapt off two feet, and switched the ball from his left to right hand in midair before completing the layup on the right side of the basket. It gave Boston a 107-100 advantage with 40.9 seconds remaining.

Bledsoe's steal and layup just over a minute in was the game's first basket and the only Phoenix lead. The Celtics responded with an 11-2 run and never looked back. Marcus Smart capped the surge with a 3-pointer for an 11-4 advantage.

The Suns got back within 15-13 following a Markieff Morris 3, but Boston was able to extend to margin to 26-21 at the end of one.

Boston used a 21-9 second quarter burst to go further in front, with consecutive Thomas triples staking the Celtics to a 52-35 spread midway through the frame.

The Suns were up by as many as 20 in the third before heading into the final frame with a an 89-79 margin after Evan Turner hit a trey in the waning moments of the period.

Game Notes

Boston scored 25 points off 17 Suns turnovers ... Phoenix outrebounded the Celtics 50-42 and held a 62-36 points in the paint advantage ... P.J. Tucker had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Suns ... Turner posted 10 points, eight rebounds and four helpers.