Despite losing his sister the day before the game, Isaiah Thomas played and played hard.
The Boston Celtics point guard scored a team high of 33 points on Sunday’s first playoffs game of the season. While the Chicago Bulls won in a close 106-102 match, Thomas finished with six assists and five rebounds in 38 minutes.
Thomas’ 22-year-old sister, Chyna, died in a one-car accident at around 5am on Saturday, April 15 while driving on Interstate 5 in Tacoma, Washington. According to The New Tribune, witnesses say the car was driving normal before it drifted into the left shoulder and hit a barrier.
Thomas found out about the accident on Saturday after practice with the team in Boston. It wasn’t clear if he would play, but the announcement was made by the team’s coach Brad Stevens on Sunday that he would. The 28-year-old was visibly upset and crying when entering the court on Sunday but his teammates consoled him.
While Thomas didn’t speak to press after the game, he did honor his sister by writing “Chyna,” “R.I.P. Lil Sis” and “I love you” on his sneakers.
“It says a lot,” Thomas’ teammate, Avery Bradley told ESPN.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.