Thomas’ 53 points lead Celtics past Wizards in OT

The Associated Press

BOSTON — It was his sister’s birthday.

She would have been 23.

Isaiah Thomas spent four or five hours in the dentist’s chair having work done on the tooth that was knocked out in Game 1, a day after he was in oral surgery for six hours having it repositioned in his mouth. His mouth was swollen, and he could barely talk. Still, he never considered not playing Tuesday.

“The least I can do is go out there and play for her,” Thomas said after scoring 53 points — the second-highest total in Celtics playoff history — to lead Boston to a 129-119 overtime victory over the Washington Wizards.

“I knew once game-time came, my guys would get me going, get me the energy to go out and win a game,” Thomas said, ducking his face into his hands as he mentioned his sister, Chyna, who died in a car crash on the eve of the playoffs. “There was no way I was sitting out.”

Fiddling with his new mouth guard throughout the game, Thomas scored 20 points in the fourth quarter and nine in overtime to help the Celtics take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals. The 53 points were the most in an NBA playoff game since Allen Iverson scored 55 in 2003, and just one shy of John Havlicek’s franchise postseason record of 54.

John Wall scored 40 points with 13 assists for Washington, which will host Games 3 and 4 on Thursday and Sunday.

“Two teams played their hearts out. Two great players played well,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said.

Thomas attended his sister’s funeral on Saturday and returned to Boston early Sunday morning — just hours before the Celtics won 123-111 and he lost a tooth.

Team doctors jammed it back in, but Thomas spent large parts of the next two days in oral surgery.

“What else is there to say?” Celtics coach Brad Stevens asked. “There was a point today where he was not feeling good at all. He’s had a tough day and I thought he was going to really have to gut this one out. Not only guts it out, he ends up with 50. Pretty impressive.”

Al Horford scored 15 points with 12 rebounds for Boston, and Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder scored 14 apiece. Marcin Gortat had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Markieff Morris scored 16 for the Wizards, but both fouled out in overtime.

WASHINGTON (119)

Porter 5-12 2-2 13, Morris 6-11 3-3 16, Gortat 6-8 2-4 14, Wall 16-32 5-7 40, Beal 4-15 5-6 14, Oubre 5-11 0-0 12, Smith 4-6 0-0 10, Jennings 0-2 0-0 0, Bogdanovic 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 46-99 17-22 119.

BOSTON (129)

Crowder 4-9 6-9 14, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Horford 6-9 2-2 15, Thomas 18-33 12-13 53, Bradley 6-16 0-0 14, Brown 2-3 0-0 4, Olynyk 3-3 0-0 8, Smart 3-7 2-6 9, Rozier 3-8 4-4 12. Totals 45-88 26-34 129.

Washington 42 25 22 25 5 — 119

Boston 29 35 20 30 15 — 129

3-Point Goals–Washington 10-34 (Wall 3-10, Smith 2-2, Oubre 2-4, Morris 1-2, Porter 1-4, Beal 1-9, Jennings 0-1, Bogdanovic 0-2), Boston 13-36 (Thomas 5-12, Olynyk 2-2, Rozier 2-5, Bradley 2-7, Horford 1-3, Smart 1-4, Crowder 0-3). Fouled Out–Gortat, Morris. Rebounds–Washington 44 (Gortat 10), Boston 41 (Horford 12). Assists–Washington 28 (Wall 13), Boston 26 (Smart 5). Total Fouls–Washington 29, Boston 21. Technicals–Morris, Thomas. A–18,624 (18,624).