Kyrie Irving made a driving layup with 0.5 seconds left and the Boston Celtics beat the Indiana Pacers 114-112 on Friday night at tD Garden.
Boston moved into fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Both teams have identical 45-31 records, but the Celtics lead the regular-season series 2-1, giving them the current inside track on home-court advantage in a first-round series.
Irving finished with 30 points and five assists. He has scored at least 30 points in six of his last seven games. Al Horford added 19 points and seven rebounds. Aron Baynes had 13 points and 13 rebounds.
If the current standings hold, the teams would meet in the first round. Their final regular-season meeting is Friday in Indiana.
Bojan Bogdanovic led the Pacers with 27 points. Thaddeus Young contributed 18 points and nine rebounds. Myles Turner finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Neither team will be able to relax as the regular season winds down.
Both Indiana and Boston play five of the final six games against teams currently in playoff position.
Portland 118, at Atlanta 98: Damian Lillard scored 36 points, Al-Farouq Aminu contributed 17points and 11 rebounds, and the Trail Blazers extended their winning streak to a season-high six games.
Portland took charge with a 16-0 run during the third quarter that pushed its lead to 21 points. The Hawks pulled to within 10 early in the fourth on Trae Young’s runner, but Zach Collins’ follow dunk and Jake Layman’s difficult three-point play made it 97-82 to remove any remaining suspense.
Lillard, with his 26th game of at least 30 points, outplayed Young, who scored 18 of his 26 points in the first quarter.
Aminu has double-doubles in consecutive games for the first time this season. He had 12 points and 11 boards against Chicago on Wednesday. John Collins finished with 20 points for the Hawks.
The Blazers have won nine of 10 and are in third place in the Western Conference. Atlanta’s three-game winning streak, tying its longest of the season, was snapped.