Washington (AFP) - Isaiah Thomas scored a career-high 53 points and dedicated the effort to his late sister as the Boston Celtics defeated the Washington Wizards 129-119 in a second-round National Basketball Association playoff game on Tuesday.
He scored 20 points in the fourth quarter and nine more in a game-closing 15-2 over-time run that gave the host Celtics a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series, which shifts to Washington for Game Three on Thursday.
Thomas attended his sister Chyna's funeral Saturday after she died in a car accident and has also had to overcome having had a tooth knocked out in Game One on Sunday.
"My sister, everything I do is for her, and she's watching over me," he said.
On what would have been his sister's 23rd birthday, Thomas connected on 18-of-33 shots from the floor and 12-of-13 from the free throw line.
In the Western Conference, Golden State beat visiting Utah 106-94 in the opener of their second-round series.
Stephen Curry scored 22 points while Draymond Green and Kevin Durant each added 17 points and Klay Thompson had 15 as the Warriors showed no rust from a week off after a first-round sweep.