Stevens: Thomas 'intention to play' after sister's death

Meanwhile, the Celtics have Isaiah Thomas, a budding superstar who had a breakout season.

He was an 11th grader - for the second year in a row.

Rather, it was just one of a few.

There were moments in the beginning of this emotional game when it looked like Isaiah Thomas wasn't going to make it through.

Isaiah Thomas took the floor to a deafening cheer for the Boston Celtics' playoff opener against the Chicago Bulls on Sunday night, just a day after his sister was killed in a vehicle accident.

Instead, Thomas walked solemnly toward his teammates, who swallowed him into what was essentially a very big group hug. He'd been crying, but who in Thomas' circle hadn't been?

According to The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.), which cited Washington State Patrol and family friends, Thomas' auto, a 1998 Toyota Camry, traveled off the road around 5 a.m. and hit a Jersey barrier, which State Patrol spokesman Nick King said "vaulted the vehicle head-on" into a sign post. What grew from there was a lifelong bond between the two men. "I don't even know how to say it", said Green.

Durant shot 12 for 20, showing no issues with a recent left knee injury that sidelined him 19 games before he returned for the final three regular-season contests with the NBA-best Warriors.

Thomas came out of the gate on fire, scoring 13 in the first quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers that helped the Celtics open a six-point lead.

1 dead, 2 wounded in shooting at gym in upscale Florida mall
Members of the Mount Moriah Masonic Lodge plan to sell hot dog lunches, and an Easter bunny will be available for photos . The event, sponsored by the Cumberland Parks and Recreation Department, is free and no registration is required.

The two-times NBA All Star gathered himself once he took the court and received vocal support from the capacity 18,000-plus crowd at TD Garden in Boston. After Thomas' back-to-back three-point plays in the third quarter, they chanted, "M-V-P!" Isaiah is the one that I felt like dealt with it best.

"We're never going to make excuses, but this is hard", Celtics center Al Horford told reporters.

Chyna is the daughter of Isaiah's father and his stepmother, LaNita. "A great guy, son and brother".

It kind of says it all.

Murphy also reported the team may not know until game-time if Thomas will play in Sunday's playoff opener.

ESPN reports that Thomas was talking to a reporter after practice when Avery Bradley, a fellow Tacoma, Wash., native, emerged from the trainer's room and pulled him away. A day earlier, Bradley had pulled Thomas out of a post-practice interview to help break the terrible news from home. However, late in the game, on a key sequence, the 5-foot-9 Thomas was blocked by Butler.

"It's a crucial time for our family right now", James Thomas told the Herald. I think ultimately we all just try to do our part and let him know we're thinking about him. Although many of us gravitate towards sports as a way to escape the pains and stresses of life, we must always remember that some things are bigger than basketball. The whole day, full of signs about how much people care.

"The game will play itself out the way it plays itself out", Stevens said. "He is just an fantastic basketball player and a better person, so I'm happy with the way he played tonight, and we just need to continue to fight for him". But in Chicago made the plays they needed down the stretch.

"It's a awful tragedy", Hoiberg said.

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