On This Day: Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas drops 53 points in playoff win

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Cody Taylor
·1 min read
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On May 2, 2017, Isaiah Thomas turned in a remarkable performance to lead the Boston Celtics to a thrilling overtime win over the Washington Wizards in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Thomas dropped 53 points in the 129-119 win to give the Celtics a 2-0 series lead over the Wizards. His 53 points scored were the second-most ever by a Celtics player in postseason history, behind John Havlicek’s 54 points in April 1973.

The performance by Thomas came on what would have been Chyna Thomas’ 23rd birthday. She was killed in a single-car accident just two weeks prior on April 15, 2017.

“Today is my sister’s birthday,” Thomas said at the time. “She would’ve been 23 today, so the least I can do is go out there and play for her.”

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The Celtics would go on to defeat the Wizards in Game 7 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. They eventually fell to the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games in what became Thomas’ last season with the Celtics after suffering his hip injury.

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