The first person out of the tunnel, Isaiah Thomas rushed out onto the court at TD Garden with a heavy heart. The emotions were clear as Thomas was seen crying before the game. He had just lost his sister due to a car accident on Saturday morning, yet decided to fight through the pain for his teammates and the city of Boston. A moment of silence was held before the game to honor Chyna Thomas. Though Isaiah gave all he had, the Chicago Bulls pulled out the victory in suspenseful fashion, winning 106-102.
Going into the game as the number one seed, it was a tough loss for the home team Celtics. Although Boston got off to a hot start and finished the first quarter with a 28-23 lead, the Bulls never went away. Jimmy Butler led the way with 30 points and 9 rebounds. Robin Lopez was crucial for the Bulls in the first 12 minutes, scoring 10 points and pulling down 4 boards to keep them close. Chicago held the Celtics to only 18 points in the second quarter, taking a two-point lead into halftime. In the second half, it was the Jimmy Butler show. He went 7-12 shooting for 23 points, helping the Bulls get the lead and never looking back. Thomas finished the game with 33 points on 10-18 shooting, to go along with 6 assists and 5 rebounds. Al Horford flirted with a triple double in 40 minutes, finishing with 19 points, 8 assists and 7 boards. Bobby Portis had 19 points and 9 rebounds off the bench for Chicago.
The emotions got the best of Thomas as he was called for a technical foul at the 6:33 mark in the fourth. He was called for a kicked ball turnover, and he had some words for the referee. It was clear that the death of his sister certainly toyed with his emotions, but IT2 still managed to play a solid game. Having a day off to clear his mind should work to his advantage as the number one-seeded Boston will look to get back on track in game 2.
The teams face off again in Boston on Tuesday at 8:00 PM ET.
Baseline Times Staff Writer