Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas said the days since his younger sister was killed in a car crash have been the hardest of his life.
Thomas' comments, released in a team statement Wednesday, are his first public ones since 22-year-old Chyna Thomas died early Saturday outside of Tacoma, Wash. The All-Star guard said the pain he is feeling "is impossible to put into words," though he expressed gratitude to his fans, the city of Boston, the Celtics organization and the NBA community for their support.
Thomas played in the first two games of the Celtics' first-round playoff series with the Bulls, then flew to Washington to be with his family Wednesday.
He is expected to rejoin the team Friday for Game 3 in Chicago.
Bulls up unlikely 2-0
For a team that bickered and barely made the playoffs, the Bulls are the early surprise of this postseason.
They hold a stunning 2-0 lead over the top-seeded Celtics.
"The credit through this team sticking together through injuries to put ourselves in position to make the playoffs," Dwyane Wade said, "goes to everyone from the coaching staff to the leaders to the young guys. Everyone did it together."
The Bulls took a commanding lead in the series with Tuesday's 111-97 victory, and they come home looking to become just the sixth No. 8 seed to knock off a No. 1. None has swept a top seed.
It was hard to see the Bulls in this position. They didn't clinch a playoff spot until they beat Brooklyn in the final regular-season game.
The trip to the playoffs comes on the heels of a turbulent regular season. A big trade last summer sent Bulls hometown favorite and former MVP Derrick Rose to New York after going 42-40. Chicago also parted with Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol, helping clear the way for young players.
They brought in Rajon Rondo and then Wade in free agency, moves that seemed to go against the idea of getting younger. Neither veteran filled the team's biggest need: better shooting.
George defends self
Indiana Pacers star Paul George is attacking critics of his recent postgame comments.
George called the notion that he threw teammates under the bus "completely ignorant." The four-time All-Star insisted he was only trying to motivate other players to perform better after the Pacers lost the first two games in their first-round playoff series against Cleveland.
The questions began after George criticized C.J. Miles for taking the final shot in a one-point loss in Game 1 at Cleveland. George said he should have taken it.
• The NBA fined Grizzlies coach David Fizdale $30,000 for his rant against the officiating after Memphis' 96-82 loss to San Antonio in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.
• Celtics guard Marcus Smart was fined $25,000 for making an obscene gesture during Boston's first-round Game 2 loss to Chicago.
• Cavaliers starting guard J.R. Smith is questionable for Game 3 at Indiana on Thursday with a left hamstring injury.