Day after sister's death, Isaiah Thomas plays for Celtics

The Chicago Bulls (41-41) meet the Boston Celtics (53-29) in Game 1 of a best-of-seven Eastern Conference series in the 2017 NBA Playoffs on Sunday, April 16, 2017 (4/16/17) at TD Garden in Boston, Mass.

Thomas did not address the media afterward, but his teammates said emotion tailed him throughout the day.

Several messages were written on Thomas' shoes Sunday, including "Chyna", "RIP Lil Sis" and "I love you".

Earlier, Kevin Durant has led Golden State to a 121-109 win over Portland in the opening game of their playoff series.

The Chicago Bulls play the Boston Celtics in one of the most anticipated First Round series in the National Basketball Association on Sunday, start time at 6:30 PM ET, at TD Garden.

The Celtics held a pregame moment of silence for Chyna Thomas, who was 22. Chants of M-V-P hailed down from the rafters as Thomas undoubtedly had to have his heart lifted. Though all teams gave a tough fight, the Wizards played great, even gaining three spots in NBA's latest top 5 plays, which led them to win against Atlanta Hawks with 114 points. "He's an unbelievable, awesome player".

"He was incredible. He's an unbelievable player and an awesome person", Boston coach Brad Stevens said. As much as they, too, hurt for Thomas and heard the roaring ovation for the Celt, their job was to not care about that once the game began. "It just goes to show the type of player and man he is to go out there and battle through what he was going through for his organization and team". In eight of those ten games, Butler shot over 50%. "A couple other guys knowing him from being in the league for as long as all of them have", said Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg.

"I feel very confident that we've got a good run in us", Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue said. He's such a competitor, such a good kid. "But when I'm into it like that, if I'm scoring or my teammates are scoring, I'm always going to be hyped". And despite Celtics' loss, the team remains on top of the standings for the Eastern Conference.

It was part of a stretch in which he scored seven straight points. Boston won a bit more easily - by a combined 27 points as opposed to Chicago's two wins by 7 points - but two of those games were in the first week of the season.

But Chicago's Jimmy Butler dribbled off a few seconds and sealed the victory with two free throws with just three seconds on the clock.

And off the bench, Portis had a Taj Gibson-like game - a thorn in the Celtics' side who the Bulls traded away - with a near double-double of 19 points and nine rebounds off the bench. Our thoughts are first and foremost with all of them.

James Harden became the first player in National Basketball Association history to finish the regular season with at least 2,000 points (2,356), 900 assists (907) and 600 rebounds (659) following Wednesday's triple-double in the Houston Rockets' 123-118 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Smart leads in steals with 1.6 per game.

  • Julie Sanders