PHILADELPHIA -- As the tension of the game goes up, Isaiah Thomas calms down.Thomas scored 12 straight Celtics points late in the fourth quarter and tied his season high with 37 points to lead Boston to a 107-106 victory over the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.Avery Bradley added 20 points for Boston, which won its ninth straight game against the 76ers.I just love the fourth quarter, Thomas said. Some guys get a little tight, a little timid. I embrace it. I want to be great. I want to be somebody my teammates can call on when the game is close.The Celtics certainly know they can go to Thomas, who at 5-foot-9 can be described as a little big man. He entered ninth in the NBA in scoring (25.7 ppg) and now has five games of 30 or more points.Were a little bit like, `Thats Isaiah, Boston coach Brad Stevens said. But he has a special ability to score the ball. My advice to anybody is buy League Pass and watch him as much as he can because hes a fun guy to watch.Rookie Dario Saric tied his career high with 21 points while adding 12 rebounds for Philadelphia, which dressed just 10 players. The 76ers lost their sixth straight.Joel Embiid, who leads the 76ers in scoring (18.7 ppg) and rebounding (7.9 rpg), missed his seventh game as part of the teams rehab plan to not play him on consecutive nights after sitting out the last two seasons with a foot injury.Thomas scored six straight points to make it 98-91 with 3:05 left. The 76ers scored seven of the next nine to pull within 100-98 with just over a minute left. Thomas driving attempt was blocked by Jahlil Okafor and then Saric tied it at 100 with 34 seconds left on a layup that just beat the shot clock.After a timeout, Thomas blew by two defenders for an easy layup that put the Celtics up 102-100 with 30.2 seconds left.Thats what you see with All-Star point guards, Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said. Hes hard to guard.Hollis Thompson missed on a drive on Philadelphias ensuing possession. The Celtics got the rebound and Bradley made one of two free throws with 16 seconds left for a 103-100 lead. Sarics tying 3-point attempt fell short and Marcus Smart made a pair of free throws on the other end.PHILLYS FAST STARTThe 76ers led by as many as 11 points in the opening half before taking a 53-45 lead into the break. The key was 3-point shooting. Philadelphia was 9 for 18 from the arc in the opening 24 minutes while the Celtics were 3 for 11.SARICS SURGESaric had his best game as a member of the 76ers, who acquired him after Orlando selected him 12th in the 2014 draft. He played the last two seasons overseas.He was a man down there tonight, Brown said. Youd walk away and say thats a hell of a player for playing 20 games in the NBA.Saric provided the highlight of the night when he sent Bostons Jonas Jerebko tumbling to the floor with a behind-the-back dribble before pulling up and draining an 18-footer.NOT CONNECTINGThe Celtics entered fifth in the league in both 3-pointers made (11.3) and attempts (31.1) per game. But they struggled from the outside against the 76ers, finishing 8 for 26.TIP-INSCeltics: This was the first of four meetings between the teams. Boston will host the next two games, on Jan. 6 and Feb. 15, before returning to Philadelphia on March 19. ... Thomas career high is 38.76ers: Philadelphia wore throwback jerseys from 1966-67 in honor of the 76ers NBA champions from that season. Billy Cunningham, a player on that team who later coached the 76ers to the 1983 NBA title, rang the replica Liberty Bell during pregame festivities. And many members of the team were recognized in a halftime ceremony.UP NEXTCeltics: Look to end a four-game losing streak to the Rockets when they visit Houston on Monday night.76ers: Cap a four-game homestand by hosting Denver on Monday night. Jaren Jackson Jr. Jersey . -- Ken Appleby made 32 saves for his first shutout of the season to lead the Oshawa Generals to a 2-0 win over the Belleville Bulls on Wednesday in Ontario Hockey League action. Allen Iverson Jersey . On Tuesday, Ottawa placed forward Cory Conacher and defenceman Joe Corvo on waivers as trade rumours swirl around the Senators. http://www.grizzliesbasketballpro.info/Kyle-Anderson-Grizzlies-Jersey/ . -- Quarterback Will Finch threw for 252 yards and three touchdowns, and Yannick Harou rushed in two scores as the No. Shareef Abdur-Rahim Jersey . -- Jonathan Drouin gave Halifax the boost it needed to edge host Sherbrooke Phoenix 3-2 in a shootout in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action. Allen Iverson Grizzlies Jersey .com) - Christian Ponder will get another chance to prove himself for the Minnesota Vikings, with head coach Leslie Frazier announcing Wednesday that the struggling quarterback will start this weekends game against the Green Bay Packers. WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Chris Bueschers unlikely victory at Pocono Raceway last Sunday put an interesting twist into NASCARs Chase for the Sprint Cup.I know we are throwing a wrench at a lot of peoples brackets for the Chase, Buescher said. Its going to be a pretty wild ride to the end.No question.And another twist could be added this weekend on the Watkins Glen International road course.Nobody really expected Pocono to spit a surprise race winner out of the Pennsylvania mountain fog, but Buescher and Front Row Motorsports took advantage of the circumstances to land a provisional berth in NASCARs 16-driver playoffs.A much more likely venue for a shocking result is Watkins Glen. As one of two road races out of 36 on the Sprint Cup schedule, it truly stands out in advance as a wild-card event.The days of one-off road-course ringers are gone, but Watkins Glen gives full-time Cup drivers with substantial road racing experience the opportunity to win their way into the Chase, even if they are not regular front-runners in a series dominated by ovals.In the not-too-distant past, road racing specialists Robby Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya and Marcos Ambrose grasped the opportunity to win Cup races at Watkins Glen and would have qualified for the Chase had the current format been in effect. More recently, A.J. Allmendinger triumphed at The Glen in 2014 for JTG Daugherty Racing to become the first driver to earn his way into the 16-driver Chase as a road course wild-card winner.For an ex-road racer like Allmendinger and a small team like JTG Daugherty, the road races tilt the playing ground in their favor, allowing them to overcome the greater resources that NASCARs superteams enjoy.With such a perceived advantage, the danger for Allmendinger is to not let the pressure of being a favorite to win get to him.Watkins Glen and Sonoma -- just road course racing in general -- are places where I think a driver can make more of a difference, but youve still got to have the right package, Allmendinger said.Obviously, for a win youre going to take whatever risk you have to, he added. We just have to go out there and do our jobs. Road races also tend to put a premium on fuel and tire strategy, which also occasionally produces a surprise winner.But more often than not, when fuel strategy comes into play, it works in favor of the more experienced teams and drivers and their ability to read the race and react quickly to unexpected developments.Passing is more difficult than it is on most ovals, so track position is king and an experienced driver who gets out front is generally able to defend his position.Maybe thats why the most successful road racers of NASCARs modern era are Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon, who lead the series with five and four wins respectively at Watkins Glen.Fuel and tire strategy is expected to be even morre critical than usual at Watkins Glen this year.dddddddddddd Teams found they could not stretch their fuel long enough to complete this years road race at Sonoma on two stops. More important, Watkins Glen was just fully repaved and Goodyear has brought an extremely conservative tire that has shown very little wear in testing and practice.On Friday, drivers were setting their best times 10 or even 15 laps into a run, with some predicting that the 90-lap race could be completed without a tire change.The biggest thing is pit strategy, said?Kyle Busch, a two-time Watkins Glen winner. Obviously, youve got to pick and choose when youre going to pit and stick to your plan. Whether or not we can still do it on two stops, Im unsure of because Sonoma turned into a three-stop race for us all because the new fuel mileage is a little bit off from where we were last year.The tires are lasting a long time, but its like youre on ice the first few laps, he added. Its a conservative tire, and that way, we are not going to have any tire issues, but it just provides for a lack of grip early in the run.Fellow Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. says he believes the track will continue to pick up speed as rubber is put down over the weekend.The track is definitely a lot more challenging with the new pavement, Truex said. The tires are really hard -- they dont wear out -- which is typical for repave whether its an oval or a road course. So you dont really change tires or wear tires out, you just keep running on them and they get faster and faster and faster.I think its really challenging just to figure out where your car is, because at some point in the race you have to put tires on. Thats a big challenge, but well see where it goes.The other part of the repave is that many of the curbs lining the 2.45-mile, nine-turn course have been raised or reprofiled. That led to some cars getting slightly airborne during practice as drivers worked out just how much of an advantage they could gain by bouncing over curbs rather than going around them.I dont remember all of my old [braking and turn-in] marks, I just remember there are new ones out there and it took me a little while to kind of get my marks right, Toyota driver Carl Edwards?said. I ran over the curbs wrong a couple times and found some slick spots on the curbs.Its fun to show up at a place and have to catalog everything and remember where all the speed is.Even Allmendinger, the 2014 winner and 2015 pole sitter, struggled to adapt. He had a rough first practice session and overcame a loose oil line in the afternoon to set the fastest time of the day.It looks the same but it drives different, he said. Theres a lot of new things around this place. ' ' '