Bulls beat Celtics 101-94; Thomas plays after sister's death

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Chicago Bulls' Rajon Rondo (9) goes up to shoot in front of Boston Celtics' Kelly Olynyk (41) during the first quarter of a first-round NBA playoff basketball game Sunday, April 16, 2017, in Boston.

The 2nd half: Jimmy Butler dominates.

Isaiah Thomas of the Celtics ties his shoes, with messages dedicated to his late sister, Chyna Thomas, who was killed in a auto accident on Saturday.

"He's the reason we are where we are", Zeller said. "We knew he was hurting". If the Celtics don't find an answer soon we might really be looking at one of the worst 1 seeds of all time.

"I mean, for the most part, " Wade said when he was asked if there was a certain comfort the Bulls have in knowing they have more stars than the Celtics do.

Reigning MVP Steph Curry had 29 points and Draymond Green added a double-double via 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Eastern Conference top seeds were not as fortunate, losing 106-102 to the Bulls in their first-round opener. A ton of different things must have been going through Thomas' mind, but he locked into the game and played a great game.

"I know it's tough for him".

Rondo said they wanted to be aggressive. "Whatever he needs to do, he needs to do, and we'll help in any way", Stevens said.

Westbrook had 22 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, but made just six-of-23 shots and had nine turnovers. This is a team that expected to be riding a big wave of momentum.

KEVIN DURANT PROVED his worth as the Golden State Warriors made a winning start in the National Basketball Association playoffs, while the Boston Celtics were upstaged by the Chicago Bulls.

But perhaps the most chills-inducing moment came early in the first quarter.

Celtics fans rallied behind Thomas, showering him with a deafening cheer when he was introduced.

The Bulls had their moments of fallibility as well. Thomas led a fast break down the court and threw a fancy between-the-legs pass to Bradley.

Thomas did not address the media afterward.

"We're never going to make excuses, but this is hard", Horford said. The Celtics are now trailing the Bulls 0-1 in the series. Were 18 for 45 from the field in the first half. Chicago went on a 14-4 run late in the 4th quarter to give the Bulls a 101-92 lead in the closings minutes.

Thomas would then get a layup with seven seconds left to cut the Bulls lead to two, 104-102.

ESPN reports that Thomas was talking to a reporter after practice when Avery Bradley, a fellow Tacoma, Wash., native, emerged from the trainer's room and pulled him away. "That's just not a good look, in my personal opinion".

On his shoes were written several messages, including "Chyna, ' "RIP Lil Sis" and "I love you".

Prior to Game 1, Thomas was extremely emotional and was crying during the pregame ceremonies.

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