Isaiah Thomas could not be stopped Tuesday night at TD Garden.
Thomas’ epic performance came on what would have been the 23rd birthday of his sister, Chyna, who was killed in an April 15 car crash. He wanted to win for her, and his awe-inspiring night led the Celtics to a 2-0 series lead.
Several members of the sports world reacted to Thomas’ special performance, including LeBron James. Speaking during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ shootaround Wednesday morning, James expressed how much of an impact he believes Chyna’s passing had on Thomas’ outing.
“I believe that she was just looking upon him, looking down on him and giving him everything and more,” James told reporters, as transcribed by USA Today. “There was no way he was going to get tired last night and I just felt that — and I saw watching the game — at no point was he going to get tired. I just think she was just looking down on him and just giving him any extra motivation, any little touch, any little spring.
“He’s very special. He’s a special guy, special talent. Unique talent.”
Thomas’ heroics have been remarkable considering the circumstances, but James believes taking the court is an effective means of relieving the pain.
“When you’re on the court, that’s your sanctuary, and that’s where you can kind of block everything out, no matter what you’re going through in your individual life, block everything out because that’s your happy place, and it definitely showed for him in his individual performance,” James said said.
With the way both the Celtics and Cavs are rolling, there’s a good chance the teams could meet in the Eastern Conference finals.
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images