BOSTON — When it comes to press conferences and adorable children, we doubt anyone will ever top Riley Curry.
But Isaiah Thomas’ sons gave the NBA’s most famous daughter a run for her money Sunday.
Fresh off a 28-point effort in the Celtics’ huge Game 4 overtime win over the Atlanta Hawks at TD Garden, Thomas decided to bring his two sons, James and Jaden, to the podium for his post-game press conference.
The pair of youngsters (mostly) behaved well as their All-Star father fielded questions, but after Thomas was done, they took center stage.
It’s hard to pick the best moment of this awesome clip, but we’re going with Thomas’ 5-year-old son, James, calling his dad “the greatest basketball player.”
James certainly has a case, as Thomas is the NBA’s postseason scoring leader with 28.3 points per game through Boston’s first four contests. The 5-foot-9 guard scored five of the Celtics’ 12 points in overtime, including a dagger 3-pointer with 30 seconds remaining that helped the C’s tie the best-of-seven series at two games apiece.
We’re not sure how aware Thomas’ children are of his efforts, but we’re on board with seeing more of these guys going forward.
Let’s hit a few other notes from Celtics-Hawks:
— The Celtics caught a break at the end of regulation. With the game tied and Thomas guarding him, Hawks guard Jeff Teague inexplicably held the ball until the very last second and failed to even get a shot off before the buzzer sounded.
“Don’t give me no credit for that,” Thomas said of the play. “I think they were trying to isolate me, and I felt like he took a little bit too long, and I kind of knew what he was going to do once the clock hit three or four seconds. Most guards do a hesitation pull-up. He tried it, and he lost the ball.”
— Thomas’ sons weren’t the only ones happy with his play Sunday. A host of New England Patriots witnessed the win at TD Garden, and running back LeGarrette Blount took to the court after the game to enthusiastically congratulate Thomas.
–Marcus Smart’s ability to contain Paul Millsap down the stretch shouldn’t take away from the Hawks forward’s epic night.
Millsap stuffed the stat sheet with an incredible 45-point, 13-rebound, three-assist, four-block, two-steal game. He became the first Hawk since Dominique Wilkins in 1987 to score 40 or more points in a playoff game, and his 45 points were the most by an NBA player so far this postseason.
“He was scoring so many different ways,” head coach Brad Stevens said. “I mean, I think we had him for 19 points in the post, all on different guys, so we were trying a bunch of different things.”
— The Celtics once again got a strong effort from Jonas Jerebko, who responded to his second consecutive playoff start with his second consecutive double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds). The Swedish forward went 6 for 9 from the field and hit a pair of key 3-pointers late in the third quarter to keep the Celtics in it.
“He?s meant a lot,” Thomas said of Jerebko. “… Coach called his name and made an adjustment. We?ve been 2-0 since. He?s a big part of what we have here, and he?s been playing well. We need him to play like that.?
— Big man Kelly Olynyk returned to action Sunday after missing Games 2 and 3 but didn’t make much of an impact. He entered with one minute remaining in the first quarter and didn’t record a point in under four minutes of playing time.
— Stevens provided an update on Avery Bradley’s injured right hamstring, but Celtics fans shouldn’t get their hopes up.
“I’ve been told that it’s been pretty consistent improvement, but I think our timeline remains the same,” Stevens said of Bradley. “It would be extremely unlikely that he would play in this series.”