NBA Roundup: Celtics defeat Wizards

By JIMMY GOLEN

The Associated Press

BOSTON — It was his sister’s birthday.

She would have been 23.

Isaiah Thomas spent four or five hours in the dentist’s chair having work done on the tooth that was knocked out in Game 1, a day after he was in oral surgery for six hours having it repositioned in his mouth. His mouth was swollen, and he could barely talk. Still, he never considered not playing Tuesday night.

“The least I can do is go out there and play for her,” Thomas said after scoring 53 points — the second-highest total in Celtics playoff history — to lead Boston to a 129-119 overtime victory over the Washington Wizards.

“I knew once game-time came, my guys would get me going, get me the energy to go out and win a game,” Thomas said, ducking his face into his hands as he mentioned his sister, Chyna, who died in a car crash on the eve of the playoffs. “There was no way I was sitting out.”

Fiddling with his new mouth guard throughout the game, Thomas scored 20 points in the fourth quarter and nine in overtime to help the Celtics take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals. The 53 points were the most in an NBA playoff game since Allen Iverson scored 55 in 2003, and just one shy of John Havlicek’s franchise postseason record of 54.

“It’s nice to be in Celtics history with all the great players,” Thomas said. “But until you win a championship, you can’t consider yourself a great player. That’s what it’s all about.”

John Wall scored 40 points with 13 assists for Washington, which will host Games 3 and 4 on Thursday and Sunday.

“Two teams played their hearts out. Two great players played well,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “

Asked if he had ever been in a one-on-one scoring battle like that against another point guard, Wall shook his head: “Nah,” he said. “Nope. Nope. Nope.”

Thomas attended his sister’s funeral on Saturday and returned to Boston early Sunday morning — just hours before the Celtics won 123-111 and the diminutive point guard lost a tooth. Team doctors jammed it back in, but Thomas spent large parts of the next two days in oral surgery.

“What else is there to say?” Celtics coach Brad Stevens asked. “There was a point today where he was not feeling good at all. He’s had a tough day and I thought he was going to really have to gut this one out. Not only guts it out, he ends up with 50. Pretty impressive.”

Al Horford scored 15 points with 12 rebounds for Boston, and Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder scored 14 apiece. Marcin Gortat had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Markieff Morris scored 16 for the Wizards, but both fouled out in overtime.

Warriors 106, Jazz 94

OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry scored 22 points in three quarters of work and top-seeded Golden State warmed up in a hurry after a weeklong layoff between playoff games, beating Utah in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals.

Draymond Green scored Golden State’s first six points of the fourth quarter and wound up with 17 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two more blocks to bring his remarkable five-game playoff swat total to 19.

Kevin Durant added 17 points on an uncharacteristically cold shooting night at 7 for 17 and had five rebounds and five assists. He missed the middle two games against Portland because of a strained left calf then returned for 20 minutes in Game 4. Zaza Pachulia scored 10 points in 14 minutes.

Rudy Gobert had 13 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and a Flagrant 1 foul on Green in the fourth for the Jazz, who just finished off the Clippers in a seven-game series Sunday while the Warriors waited after eliminating Portland in a sweep April 24.

Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Thursday night at Oracle Arena.

By Paul Wager

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