Sunday, 25 June, 2017

Bulls top Celtics 106-102; Thomas plays after sister's death

Melissa Porter | 18 April, 2017, 02:37

All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas was faced with the gut-wrenching decision of whether or not to play in the Boston Celtics first postseason game on Sunday afternoon, after his 22-year-old sister, Chyna Thomas, was killed in a auto accident the night prior.

Jimmy Butler, who played with Thomas in the past two All-Star games and led all Bulls' scorers in Game 1 with 30 points, said afterwards, "He's a helluva player".

According to an official statement released by the franchise on Monday afternoon, Boston Celtics' starting point guard Isaiah Thomas is planning to play in each of the team's next two games against the Chicago Bulls.

The sister of the Boston Celtics player, 22-year-old Chyna, died in a single-car wreck in Tacoma, Washington early Saturday. "The thoughts and prayers of the entire Celtics organization are with Isaiah and his family".

The Chicago Bulls have a chance to take full control of this series (2-0) with another road victory.

Stay on topic - This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. "And letting him know it's OK, whatever his emotions are at that time, it's OK to let them out. Obviously our world is kind of revolved around basketball, but like I said, who cares about basketball when something like that happens?" "This was hard, and I felt like our guys really dealt with it best".

Police said the accident occurred at around 5 a.m., when Chyna Thomas' 1998 Toyota Camry suddenly drifted onto the left shoulder of the highway and traveled about 50 feet before hitting a large metal pole.

The Celtics held a pregame moment of silence for Thomas' sister, part of an emotional pregame introduction for him.

But in a star league at a star time of the season, that's where the Bulls really had an advantage against the Boston Celtics. "We knew [Thomas] was hurting ... we have a lot of respect for him that he was able to come out". He looked toward the rafters just before the tip-off.

On his sneakers were written "Chyna", "R.I.P. Lil Sis" and "I love you". "I'm happy with the way he played tonight, and we just need to continue to fight for him".

Before the game, TNT showed Boston teammate Avery Bradley - a former player at Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma - comforting Thomas on the bench during a shoot-around.

It would be in the Celtics best interest if Thomas plays, but whatever decision he makes is the correct one. Isaiah's the one I feel like was the best. If he needs to and wants to stay here, then we'll be here surrounding him.