Jimmy Butler had 30 points and nine rebounds and the Chicago Bulls outlasted Boston 106-102 in Game 1 on Sunday on an emotional night for grieving Celtics star Isaiah Thomas.
The game was overshadowed by Isiah Thomas and the tragic death of his sister on Saturday.
Fellow Celtics player Avery Bradley was spotted putting his arm around the 28-year-old point guard as he cried during the pregame shoot around. He looked toward the rafters just before the tip-off.
Thomas wrote "Chyna" and "RIP LIL SIS" on his sneakers for the game to honor his late sister.
Thomas did not address the media afterward.
"That's why we always want to see each other succeed, me and him", Bradley added. "I think they really appreciate Isaiah, and I know Isaiah really appreciates everybody here". "We grew up in the same area".
"I think it just speaks to who he is as a person and how he comes out here and just fights each and every night, even when adversity is against him", Celtics forward Jae Crowder said, via ESPN's Chris Forsberg.
Despite losing his sister the day before the game, Isaiah Thomas played and played hard.
The vehicle reportedly then drifted 50 feet until it hit a large road sign. A witness to the accident stated that her auto had started to drift very casually onto the left shoulder before it left the highway.
When she hit the Jersey barrier, 'that vaulted the vehicle head-on into the sign post, ' King continued.
Celtics expect Isaiah Thomas to play in Game 2 vs. Bulls
Thomas will likely head back home to be with his family and begin the preparations for the funeral.
Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas top-scored in his side's opening play-off game a day after his sister Chyna died in an auto accident.
In a sense, he said, it's following the example Thomas set in Game 1.
Coach Brad Stevens said Thomas was "struggling" prior to the game, and it showed early as he uncharacteristically missed his first free throw attempt short off the front rim. There's empathy in the locker room, and a coach adept at navigating rough water.
The Blazers hung with the Warriors for three-quarters, before Draymond Green's incredible defensive performance helped swing the game in Golden State's favor. He's a wonderful, unbelievable player.
Bradley Beal had 22 points for the Wizards, who got enough from their top players to offset 25 points from Atlanta's Dennis Schroder and 19 from Paul Millsap.
He said Thomas has a freedom to do "whatever he needs to do" as related to his sister and family. No funeral date is set, but Stevens said the Celtics plan to attend.
"Those've got to come on his own time, and then we'll adjust accordingly", he said.
No one could have faulted Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas had he chosen to sit this one out.
Butler undeniably is the Bulls' best player, and he might just be the best player featured in this series. "We just made some mistakes that are fixable and we'll have a chance to do it [in Game 2]".