National Basketball Association player top scores one day after sister's death

Charles Barkley Isaiah Thomas

Isaiah Thomas played with a heavy heart on Sunday, scoring 33 points in a 106-102 National Basketball Association playoff loss to the Chicago Bulls just one day after his younger sister was killed in a auto crash.

A source told ESPN that the 28-year-old will play with his team on Sunday evening when the team opens its first-round series against the Chicago Bulls in Boston.

Chicago now holds a 1-0 edge and home-court advantage in the best-of-seven series, which continues at TD Garden in Boston with Game 2 at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

James did not send his sympathies to Thomas and his family via social media because of the Cleveland Cavaliers star's playoff-imposed blackout, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.

Of Thomas' performance against Chicago, Celtics coach Brad Stevens said, "He was incredible". The coach adds that all plans are subject to change depending on how Thomas feels.

Playing a day after 22-year-old sister Chyna Thomas was killed in a vehicle accident in their home state of Washington, Thomas led the Celtics with 33 points.

On this night, the ovation following his pregame introduction was the fans' way of telling IT that he and his family were in their thoughts and prayers.

Speaking during Cleveland's shootaround ahead of their Game 2 against IN on Monday, James expressed sympathy for Thomas's situation.

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Forward Tyler Zeller said they just want to try to make his basketball world as easy as possible right now. "So we're just family", Bradley said. In Game 2, I expect a better shooting and rebounding, and other guys stepping up from the Celtics.

One day after his sister, Chyna, died in a auto accident, he led his team onto the floor at TD Garden and delivered an inspired performance.

Prior to Game 1, Thomas was extremely emotional and was crying during the pregame ceremonies.

"He's trying his best to compartmentalize when he's here to work on what he needs to work on, but I'm sure that's hard", Stevens said. He looked toward the Garden rafters just before tip-off and wrote several messages to his sister on his sneakers. Stevens said decisions on the player's availability are Thomas' alone.

"Isaiah is a very strong man and none of us have any idea what he's going through or feeling", said Boston's Al Horford, who had 19 points, eight assists and seven rbeoundes.

"Those've got to come on his own time, and then we'll adjust accordingly", he said. "I think he's as good as he can be, I guess".

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