Celtics fall apart in fourth: Isaiah Thomas made a long-awaited (but brief) return to the Garden parquet on Monday night and his team came out with a win as the Nuggets dominated the fourth quarter on their way to a 115-105 victory. Nikola Jokic (21 points) led seven different Denver players in double figures as the visitors used timely efficient offense and lockdown defense in the fourth quarter to pull away with the win. The Celtics dropped just their second game over their last eight contests after failing to recover from an 11-0 Nuggets run at the start of the fourth quarter. Kyrie Irving overcame a slow shooting start to finish with a game-high 30 points but he got little help from others as Al Horford was the only Celtic to notch over 20 points while the hosts shot just 41 percent as a team.
Isaiah gets his tribute video: The point guard was honored at the first timeout of the game with a 90-second tribute video that was followed up with a standing ovation from the Garden crowd that lasted over a minute. Thomas played seven minutes for the Nuggets in the first half and went scoreless while dishing out two assists.
“You can’t even describe that feeling,” Irving said of the tribute. “My teammates felt that, and they weren’t even a part of that. It was big-time. I appreciate them for doing that, especially for not being able to be in a situation where I’m playing right now, this type of love is something that I wanted, that I needed, and I’m glad I was able to come back, and the love was just amazing.”