Fred Hoiberg: 'Impossible to guard' Isaiah Thomas when he travels

Thomas was controlling the game for the Celtics and Bulls simply could not contain him.

Isaiah Thomas scored 33 points, and the Boston Celtics beat the Chicago Bulls 104-95 Sunday to tie their first-round playoff series at 2-all.

After two sub-par performances in Boston, the Celtics have regained home-court advantage in this best-of-seven series, which now heads back to TD Garden.

Thomas has been a major reason for the comeback.

Stevens said it's "unfathomable" what Thomas is going through and marvels at his ability to play to the level he has in this series given all the emotions he's enduring. "It's been really incredible".

He is averaging 25.5 points per game for the series as the Celtics' primary go-to option and on-floor leader.

Boston Celtics -2.5, laying $110 to win $100 (1 unit, normal play).

"Mentally and emotionally, I'm not here, so I just feed off what the guys give me", Thomas said while addressing reporters for the first time since his younger sister, Chyna, died in a single-vehicle accident on April 15, a day before the series began. "I have a job to do, and that's to score the basketball, make plays for others and be the leader".

If the Bulls are going to win another game in this series, Fred Hoiberg will need to address the point guard situation. "He had a hell of a game tonight", Hoiberg said. But when you're allowed to discontinue your dribble on every possession, he is impossible to guard. This type of lineup is still possible by moving Denzel Valentine or Paul Zipser into the random third not-guard role. Now Thomas is impossible to defend. I guess (Hoiberg) is just going to continue to say it. I've got good teammates who kept me locked in the whole season.

In the Game 3, the Boston Celtics Al Horford scored 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists.

Jimmy Butler finished with 33 points and nine assists for the Bulls, but everyone else on the team struggled.

Nikola Mirotic scored 13 points for Chicago, who also got 13 points from reserve guard Isaiah Canaan and 11 from Dwyane Wade.

The third quarter ended with the Celtics on top 79-70. We had to spend a lot of energy getting back in it. Isaiah Canaan played nice defense and had some deflections on Thomas, but more often than not Thomas simply blew right past him.

You could watch NBA basketball for a very long time and not see some of the things we witnessed in Game 4 between the Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics.

Rajon Rondo ditched the cast protecting his banged-up wrist but remains out because of his fractured right thumb. Butler is a great defender for the Bulls, but even he had difficulty trying to guard and stop Thomas from causing havoc in the paint.

Whether he was just stretching or not, Rajon Rondo is paying the price for tripping Jae Crowder. Putting the ball in Butler's hands as the de facto point guard should've been done from the moment the Rondo news broke. The Bulls had Cameron Payne inactive and opted not to go with first-round draft pick Denzel Valentine.

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  • Julie Sanders