DENVER — Guard Isaiah Thomas had 22 points and 12 assists, and the surging Boston Celtics beat the Denver Nuggets 121-101 on Sunday.

Forward Jared Sullinger had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Boston, which had a 48-36 edge in rebounding despite being undersized against Denver.

Guard Avery Bradley added 20 points for the Celtics (33-24), who have won 11 of 14 to stay on the heels of first-place Toronto in the Atlantic Division.

Center Nikola Jokic had 23 points and 13 rebounds and forward Danilo Gallinari scored 17 for Denver, which has lost its first two games out of the All-Star break.

Guard D.J. Augustin, acquired from Oklahoma City in a trade for Randy Foye on Thursday, had 13 points and four assists in his home debut for Denver.

It was another poor defensive performance for the Nuggets. They allowed 70 first-half points to Sacramento on Friday and 64 to Boston and never led after the first few minutes of the game.

Sunday, in a rare matinee game, the Nuggets (22-34) fell behind 51-25 in the second quarter. They dug out of the 26-point deficit with a 13-3 run to start the second half, and Jokic’s 3-pointer made it 67-62.

They had a chance to cut it to three on a fast break, but Thomas blocked Gallinari’s shot from behind to spark a 9-2 Boston run that pushed the lead to 12.

The Nuggets tried to fight back early in the fourth quarter but the Celtics kept making plays. Leading by 13, guard Evan Turner stole the ball from Denver center Jusuf Nurkic in the lane and ran to the other end of the court to save it to Bradley, who hit the layup to make it 97-82 with 10 minutes left.

Denver got within 10 with 7:05 left, but Thomas hit a 3-pointer and made all three free throws when he was fouled on a 3-point attempt to push the lead to 109-94.