NBA Wrap: Isaiah Thomas hits 33 in Game 1 loss a day after sister’s tragic death

The Chicago Bulls came away with a 106-102 win in Boston in Game 1 of their playoff series against the East’s top-seeded Celtics, but for Isaiah Thomas, basketball was only a minor distraction to the real-life tragedy he’s been dealing with since Saturday.

The 22-year-old sister of Thomas died in a car accident on Saturday morning, but Thomas decided to play in Sunday’s playoff-opener nonetheless. He started off hot with 13 in the first quarter, before finishing with 33 points on 10-of-18 shooting, to go along with five rebounds and six assists.

Thomas was visibly upset before tip-off, but once the game got going, he was able to keep his emotions in check. He had several plays that would qualify as highlights, and his presence on the floor was undoubtedly an inspiration to his teammates.

The details from a pure basketball perspective may trouble the Celtics for more than just one game. Chicago crushed Boston on the offensive glass, and out-rebounded them overall by a 53-36 margin. As good as Thomas was, Jimmy Butler was the best player on the floor, and scored 15 of his 30 points over the final 12 minutes to seal the win for the Bulls.

But this game was about more than a win or a loss for Thomas and the Celtics.

In playoff action at Oakland, Kevin Durant scored 32 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Stephen Curry scored 29 points as the Golden State Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 121-109 in Game 1 of the first-round series.

Draymond Green added 19 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists and five blocks for the Warriors.

CJ McCollum scored a playoff career-best 41 for Portland while Damian Lillard added 34.

Game 2 is Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.

Washington defeated Atlanta 114-107 as John Wall scored a playoff career-high 32 points for the Wizards in Game 1.

Markieff Morris added 21 points in his postseason debut to help the Wizards to the win.

Atlanta’s Dennis Schroder scored 25 points and Paul Millsap added 19 for the Hawks.

Game 2 is Wednesday night in Washington.

In Houston, the Rockets routed the Oklahoma City Thunder 118-87 to take a 1-0 lead in their first-round Western Conference playoff series.

James Harden scored 37 points, and Patrick Beverley added 21 points and 10 rebounds for Houston.

Russell Westbrook struggled for the Thunder, grabbing 22 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, but made just six of 23 shots and had nine turnovers.

Game 2 is Wednesday night in Houston.

All Sunday’s NBA playoff results in full:

Atlanta Hawks 107-114 Washington Wizards (Game 1)
Portland Trail Blazers 109-121 Golden State Warriors (Game 1)
Chicago Bulls 106-102 Boston Celtics (Game 1)
Oklahoma City Thunder 87-118 Houston Rockets (Game 1)

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