Top seed Celtics carry expectations into matchup with Bulls

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports	 Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

During Sunday's first-round playoff game featuring the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics, Wade had a clear lane to the hoop on a breakaway following a steal.

Thomas manifested these feelings prior to the game, as he was visibly emotional during player introductions when the TD Garden crowd gave him a raucous ovation.

Isaiah Thomas is coping with the death of his sister in a vehicle crash the day before Game 1 of the Celtics' playoff series.

Celtics point guard Isaiah is a Tacoma native, then attended high school in University Place, Wash., through 11th grade, before returning for his collegiate career at the University of Washington.

The Celtics held a pregame moment of silence for Chyna Thomas, who died early Saturday in a one-car interstate accident in their home state of Washington. "The days won't get easier for him, but he somehow plays like that". "We knew their stuff, just like they knew ours".

"We're never going to make excuses but this is hard, this was difficult", he said. We use the words "used to" for a reason, a reason you're about to witness for yourself. The fact that he's even here is just a lot of credit to him.

"He's struggling", Stevens said before the game.

The Bulls were among the first National Basketball Association teams to release a statement of condolence for Thomas on Saturday. So that tells me he's not in shape to play.

Butler is used to guarding the other team's best perimeter player and carrying the load on offense.

He scored 23 points after halftime, including 15 in the fourth quarter, and sealed the game with two clutch free throws that put the Bulls up four with just 3.3 seconds remaining.

The Bulls would go on to win Game 1 by the score of 106-102, pulling off the upset.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens said, "Obviously, it's tragic circumstances that he and his family are going through right now".

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