With the NBA Playoffs kicking off over Easter weekend, the top-seeded Boston Celtics opened up Game 1 of their playoff series with the Chicago Bulls. Unfortunately, Celtics star guard Isaiah Thomas had to play under diffcult circumstances.
On Saturday morning, Chyna Thomas, the 22-year-old sister of the Celtics star, was killed in a one-car accident on Interstate 5 in Washington State. According to The News Tribune, Thomas’ car traveled off the road around 5 a.m. and hit a Jersey barrier; she was pronounced dead on the scene.
Isaiah Thomas received the news of his sister’s death after the Celtics’ afternoon practice. According to ESPN, Thomas was talking to a reporter after practice when teammate, Avery Bradley, pulled him away.
The Celtics organization, along with NBA Commissioner Adam Sliver, gave statements expressing their condolences as the Thomas family mourns their tragic loss.
“We are terribly saddened by the tragic loss of Chyna Thomas,” the Celtics said in the statement. “The thoughts and prayers of the entire Celtics organization are with Isaiah and his family.”
Dealing with extreme emotions, Thomas still managed to start the game and led the Celtics on the court. Thomas paid tribute to his sister with inscriptions on his shoes that said “R.I.P Lil Sis,” “Chyna,” and “I love you.”
Although Thomas played with a lot on his mind, he still put up impressive numbers with 33 points, six assists, and five rebounds. However, his team went on to lose the game by a score of 106-102. The Celtics looks to even up the series against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m.