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KHQ Today

Celtic’s Isaiah Thomas With Outstanding Performance Despite Death in Family

Tate Hutter, Reporter

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On Sunday, April 16, Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics scored 33 points against the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the Eastern Conference series. Standing at only 5-foot-9, scoring 33 points is somewhat of an impressive feat for the Boston point guard. Yet, there was something that weighed far heavier on Thomas’ mind that any basketball game ever could.

Just one day earlier, Thomas’ 22-year-old sister, Chyna, had died in a car crash. And as Thomas stood, waiting to be introduced in the starting line up, he was silent. As his name was called, he didn’t jog to join his teammates in the pre game huddle, but rather solemnly walked towards the awaiting group hug formed by his teammates as a roar of support rose from the Boston fan base.

Celtics head coach, Brad Stevens, told Thomas that he was in no way expected to play and that if he chose to sit out, the entire team would understand. During the teams shoot around earlier that day, Thomas had been seen sitting on the sidelines, with his head in hands and tears pouring from his eyes. Yet, despite all that had happened, Thomas had decided to play just over 24 hours after he had learned of his sister’s death.

During pre game warm-ups, Thomas had managed to hold back his emotions. However, as a moment of silence was held before the playing of the national anthem, Thomas could no longer contain these emotions and tears began to flow down his face.

Thomas would go on to have an outstanding game, scoring 13 points in the first quarter and 33 total. As Thomas exited that game, the crowd gave him a final standing ovation. Despite Thomas’ strong performance, the Celtics fell to the Bulls 106-102.

Boston Celtic’s point guard Isaiah Thomas guards Chicago Bulls’ Jerian Grant in the first half of the playoff opener.

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Celtic’s Isaiah Thomas With Outstanding Performance Despite Death in Family