Grieving Isaiah Thomas to play Game 2, then fly to funeral

Posted April 27, 2017

Butler, who scored 30 points in Game 1, had another strong showing in Game 2 with 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists, but the Celtics were undone by his helpers and the lack of assistance they provided Thomas, who scored 20 points on 6-of-15 shooting. Dazzling on the same parquet floor where he once roamed for nine seasons, Rondo finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and a franchise playoff-record-tying 14 assists as the Bulls shot 51.1 percent. Dwyane Wade scored eight of those points.

After giving up 20 offensive rebounds in Game 1, the Celtics spent the 48 hours leading up to Game 2 talking about a need to be better on the glass.

Boston's Isaiah Thomas, who will fly to Tacoma, Wash., on Wednesday to attend the funeral for his younger sister, Chyna, who was killed in an automobile crash, had an off night.

Basketball fans of both teams at the TD Garden in Boston offered a moment of silence to pay their respects for Thomas' 22-year-old little sister, Chyna Thomas, who died in a vehicle accident in Washington.

"He was incredible. He's an fantastic player and an wonderful person", Boston coach Brad Stevens said.

Chicago picked up a win in the opening game in this series, which allowed them to steal home court advantage from the Celtics.

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The teams will meet again for game three in Chicago on Friday, April 21. "We have to play him in the four and in the post some and get good position down there".

Boston now finds itself in rare company as just the second top-seeded team under the NBA's current playoff format to drop the first two games against an 8-seed.

The Chicago Bulls also released a statement on Saturday, sending its condolences to Thomas and his family.

If they are going to come out of Boston with a 2-0 series lead, then they are going to have to replicate what they did in the series opener. If they can ratchet up their defensive game a notch or two, then they won't end up suffering another heartbreaking loss, like the 106-102 failure during Game 1. He was the one that was cleaning up all of the rebounds and I thought he was pretty active in blocking out the whole night rebounding for us. "As I told him, 'Way to run your team'". Then, the day before Boston's playoff opener, Isaiah Thomas' sister was killed in a vehicle accident.

Butler scored 23 points in the second half. "The best teams overcome any type of adversity".