Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Hornets hosted Isaiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics in Saturday night's NBA action. For the Celtics, the chances of getting the top spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture were still there. For the Hornets, there was still a very slim opportunity to grab one of the final playoff spots. Charlotte would need a variety of things to happen over the remaining games of the season including a win in tonight's matchup. Unfortunately, Isaiah Thomas and the playoff-bound Celtics snapped their two-game losing streak to end Charlotte's bid for a playoff spot.

Thomas fuels Celtics' win

In today's Boston win, Isaiah Thomas surpassed 20 points in a game for the 70th time this season finishing the game with 32 to lead all scorers. Teammate Kelly Olynyk had a double-double of 13 points and 11 boards while Jae Crowder had 15 points and nine rebounds. Al Horford and Avery Bradley also finished with double-digits in scoring, adding 16, and 15 points, respectively. As a team, Boston hit at a rate of 51.7 percent from the field and nailed 17-of-39 three-point attempts for a 43.6 percent rate.

With under a minute to go, the Celtics led by eight points with back-to-back three-point shots from Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley. A scary moment hit when Charlotte All-Star Kemba Walker was defending Thomas.

Walker moved backwards and fell to the floor, grimacing in pain. The Celtics' Jae Crowder tried to help Walker to his feet only for Walker to go right back down, seeming to have trouble putting weight on his ankle or foot. Walker would sit out for the remainder of the Hornets' last home game.

Walker seemed to be able to stand on his own after the game had ended with Jae Crowder going over to converse with him and make sure he was OK.

For the last home game of the season, the former UCONN star finished with 23 points on 7-for-19 shooting, while teammate Nic Batum had 31 points and eight rebounds to lead all Charlotte players. Jeremy Lamb came off the bench to add 17 for the losing side.

The game was a roller-coaster affair that featured Boston losing control of their momentous 19-point lead in the second half and also saw Charlotte head coach Steve Clifford ejected for applauding the referees at one point.

Assistant coach Stephen Silas filled in for the remainder of the contest. In the final quarter, it was once again Isaiah Thomas coming up big along with his Celtics teammates.

NBA standings & what's next

Unfortunately for the Charlotte Hornets, their chances of a playoff spot were crushed on Saturday night with another loss. Even if the Hornets had been victorious, they would also need to win all of their remaining games and hope for Indiana and Miami to lose their remaining games. Next up for Charlotte is a road game on Monday against the Milwaukee Bucks starting at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

The Boston Celtics are now 51-20 for the season following today's road win. In the Eastern Conference standings, Boston trails Cleveland by just a half-game for the top spot.

The Cavs have four games left on their schedule while the Celtics have three. For their next outing, the Celtics will play a home game against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. Eastern Time in Boston.

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