BOSTON — Isaiah Thomas isn’t missing a “win or go home” game, and all it took was a quick gesture to let his head coach know.
The Celtics point guard, who suffered a mild left ankle sprain late in Tuesday’s Game 5 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, confirmed to Brad Stevens on Thursday that he’ll play in Game 6 at TD Garden.
“It was just as simple as a non-verbal thumb up,” Stevens said of Thomas. “So he’s good to go. He’s ready to roll.”
Thomas twisted his ankle while landing awkwardly on a layup early in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s loss, which dropped Boston into a 3-2 hole in their opening-round, best-of-seven series with Atlanta. He immediately left the game and didn’t return.
It was a rough night overall for the All-Star point guard, who was constantly double-teamed by the Hawks and finished with a season-low seven points on 3-of-12 shooting. But Thomas insisted after the game he’d be ready to go by Game 6, and Stevens confirmed the guard will be in Thursday’s starting lineup.
“He sent me a text late (Tuesday) night and said he’s fine,” Stevens said. “I saw him again (Wednesday) before we met in film, and on the plane (from Atlanta to Boston) he felt fine. No issues with swelling, per say.”
The Celtics likely will need a big effort from Thomas if they want to force a Game 7: They’re just 13-13 this season when he scores fewer than 20 points.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images