for this game

Celtics handle short-handed Cavs, close in on playoff berth

Apr 13, 2015 - 3:02 AM Boston, MA ( - Isaiah Thomas scored 17 points to lead seven Celtics in double figures and Evan Turner stuffed the stat sheet in Boston's 117-78 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.

Turner contributed 15 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals in Boston's fourth straight win.

The game was crucial for Boston, which moved a full game ahead of Brooklyn and Indiana for seventh place in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics can guarantee a playoff berth by winning either of their final two games.

"We're not in the playoffs yet. We're not above .500. Progress has been made, but we're not where we'd like to be," Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said.

As big as the win was for the Celtics, the game meant little to Cleveland. With the No. 2 seed in the conference already secured and no chance of reaching the top spot, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and J.R. Smith all rested.

James and Irving also sat during Friday's meeting in Cleveland, which Boston took 99-90.

Iman Shumpert led the short-handed Cavs with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Tristan Thompson and James Jones netted 14 apiece.

"It wasn't a fair situation to put them in," Cavs head coach David Blatt said of his reserves. "Suddenly they were in primary roles."

Cleveland led 22-21 after one, but the Celtics took control of the game and just about put it away over the next 12 minutes.

Three Thomas free throws early in the second quarter sparked a 12-0 run that Jae Crowder capped with a long jumper. A 15-2 run not long after put Boston in front 55-29, and the lead was 24 at halftime.

The margin never dipped under 20 points and grew as large as 41 late in the game.

Game Notes

The Celtics have won four straight games and six of their last seven. They will host Toronto and visit Milwaukee to conclude the regular season ... Cleveland shot 3-for-22 from behind the arc.