NBA

Crowder helps lift Celtics past Knicks 98-95

NEW YORK (AP) Jae Crowder scored nine of his 24 points late in the fourth quarter, Avery Bradley had 16 overall, and the Boston Celtics edged the Brooklyn Nets 98-95 on Friday night.

Al Horford added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Celtics, who were playing without All-Star Isaiah Thomas. Boston's point guard sat the first game of a two-game road trip. Thomas, second in the NBA in scoring with 29.2 points per game, bruised his right knee in Wednesday night's win over the Minnesota Timberwolves after a hard fall.

Boston moved within two games of the idle Cleveland Cavaliers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

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Brook Lopez led the Nets with 23 points and Randy Foye added 14 for Brooklyn.