LeBron James watched on TV as Isaiah Thomas gave his all in the Boston Celtics’ Game 2 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday. Thomas went for 53 points on the day his sister — who passed away in an automobile accident weeks ago — would have turned 23 years old.
James talked to a group of reporters Wednesday morning about Thomas’ Herculean performance, which included 29 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, and heaped praise on the Celtics’ guard who played the best game of his career under difficult circumstances.
Special guy, special talent, unique talent. With yesterday being his sister's birthday, I believe that she was just looking upon him, looking down on him, and giving him everything and more. There was no way he was going to get tired last night. I just felt that, I saw it watching the game, at no point was he going to get tired. I just think that she was just looking down on him and just giving him any extra motivation, any little touch, any little spring. When you're on the court, that's your sanctuary. That's where you kinda block everything out no matter what you're going through in your individual life, you can block everything out because that's your happy place, and it definitely showed for him in his individual performance.
Thomas played virtually all of the fourth quarter and overtime in the Celtics’ win, sitting only 23 seconds in the final two periods. He scored nine of Boston’s 15 overtime points on 4-of-4 shooting, outscoring the entire Washington team and hitting a dagger and-one to seal the Celtics’ victory.
Thomas has had clutch performances all season long, but Tuesday night’s took the cake. James understood that. So did everyone else.