The sister of Boston Celtics star Isaiah Thomas died in a car accident
Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas top scored in the play-offs last night, just one day after his sister died in a car crash.
Thomas scored 33 points as the Celtics lost to the Chicago Bulls in Game one of the Eastern Conference play-offs first round. He also finished up with six assists and five rebounds over 38 minutes.
A moment's silence was observed prior to the game and Thomas received a standing ovation after he was introduced in the TD Garden arena in Boston.
He led the Celtics out for the pre-game warm-up and also had various tribute messages written on his shoes in honour of his sister Chyna (22), including her name and the date of her death.
Cette video me donne des frissons dans le dos.. Respect Isaiah Thomas you're the Real MVP. pic.twitter.com/6zezMkrqHD— Toto Jr. (@Toooto_13) April 17, 2017
Celtics guard Avery Bradley was seen comforting an emotional Thomas on the sidelines during the warm-up. And speaking to ESPN about his teammate's resilience in the aftermath of such a personal tragedy, Avery said:
"It says a lot. Isaiah, to me, is like family. We grew up in the same area. I know it's tough for him. It says a lot about him. He's a true competitor, and tonight he was playing for his sister, and he was playing for his family.''
It was reported over the weekend that Thomas was informed of his sister's death after a practise session.
Tributes were paid to Thomas on social media:
My heart goes out to @Isaiah_Thomas man! I don't think I would've been able to play after what happened to him. Praying for his family 🙏— Taco Charlton (@TheSupremeTaco) April 17, 2017
I'm sorry but I can't stop thinking about @Isaiah_Thomas the hell with the game! I'm so sorry! As a peer, co-worker, rival an how ever u— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) April 17, 2017
Isaiah Thomas is Some Type of Strong— Jamie Shaw (@JamieShaw5) April 17, 2017
33 points, 6 assists & 5 boards on the heels of his sister passing
Prayers & Respect flowing out 🙌✊
Praying for you! @Isaiah_Thomas— Derek Carr (@derekcarrqb) April 16, 2017
Isaiah Thomas on the floor, has his shoes marked "Chyna" and "I love you"... Heartbreaking— Vincent Goodwill (@vgoodwill) April 16, 2017
The Bulls' 106-102 victory sees them lead the series 1-0 with Game 2 coming up on Tuesday night at TD Garden.