Isaiah Thomas pumped in 32 points as the Boston Celtics beat Steve Clifford's Charlotte Hornets 121-114 Saturday night. The victory keeps the C's within striking distance of first place in the Eastern Conference.

Boston(51-29) trails Cleveland(51-28) by a half game for the top spot.

Hornets coach Clifford, the former UMaine Farmington player and Woodland HS coach, was ejected from the game in the 2nd quarter for arguing a call. It was his first ejection in four years as Charalotte head coach.

For the Celtics, it is now down to two games left - Monday night vs Brooklyn and Wednesday vs Milwaukee.

Cleveland has a tougher schedule - road games at Atlanta and Miami, then a home game vs Toronto.

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