It was a Sunday matinee game that came just two days after the Celtics sent the Chicago Bulls packing at the conclusion of their Round 1 matchup. The Celtics were back at TD Garden to host the non-too-kind Washington Wizards in what is sure to be an intense series. Isaiah Thomas looked like the MVP-caliber player that he is, scoring a game-high 33 points as well as dishing 9 assists. Thomas, in part with Boston’s 19 3-pointers, led the way to an impressive 123-111 victory in Game 1.
The Wizards looked poised to run away with things as they jumped out to a 16-0 lead. Boston wasn’t able to record a point until 4 minutes had elapsed in the first quarter. The Celtics began to charge back in the second, scoring 35 points and went into the half losing 64-59.
Al Horford did his part as well, scoring 21 points while adding 10 assists as well. Horford was just one rebound shy of notching the first triple-double of his career. Crowder got in on the scoring with 24 points along with going 6-8 (.750) from beyond the arc. Rounding out the top scorers were Bradley with 18 points and Olynyk who added 12 points coming off the bench.
One of the more interesting players during the game was none other than rookie Jaylen Brown. After being practically existent in the first round, Coach Brad Stevens decided to put Brown into the game. There were just under 6 minutes left when Brown entered and it was immediately apparent he was itching to contribute. Hitting three of the four shots he took, Brown scored 5 crucial points to help the Celtics pull away.
Considering how the game began, it was incredible to see the Celtics pull away with a 12-point win. At one point being down by 17 and then to be up by 15 made the game exciting to watch. A 32-point swing is unheard of and the Celtics never gave in and continued to fight. It was an adverse situation, a difficult one, and the Boston faithful never let the team fall behind.
It is impossible to imagine what Thomas has been going through these past couple of weeks after the tragic death of his sister, Chyna. Fighting through adversity and still playing at such a high level is beyond inspiring and has instilled a new passion into this Celtics team. In his post-game interview, Thomas was asked how he was able to play as well as he has under the circumstances;
“I do everything for my sister now, thats all I can do” he said.
Game 2 will be Tuesday night in Boston, tip-off is 8PM ET on ESPN.