Sports Celtics had 'dark cloud' over them since tragedy

15:07  21 april  2017
15:07  21 april  2017 Source:   USA TODAY

Celtics' Isaiah Thomas to attend sister's funeral Saturday before possible Game 7 Sunday

  Celtics' Isaiah Thomas to attend sister's funeral Saturday before possible Game 7 Sunday Isaiah Thomas has helped will the Celtics back from a 2-0 deficit in their playoff series against the Bulls, but family remains his top priority. ThomasThomas will attend the funeral for his sister Chyna on Saturday in Tacoma, flying to Washington after Game 6 in Chicago Friday night. Should the Celtics lose Friday, forcing a Game 7, Thomas plans to be back in Boston for what would be a 1 p.m. ET tipoff on Sunday, the Boston Globe reports.

CLOSE. Skip in Skip. X. Embed. X. Share. USA TODAY Sports' Sam Amick breaks down how the Bulls have put their early season problems behind them and look poised to make a run in the playoffs. USA TODAY Sports.

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  Celtics had 'dark cloud' over them since tragedy © Provided by USA Today   Celtics had 'dark cloud' over them since tragedy © Provided by USA Today

The Boston Celtics badly need a win in Game 3 to improve their chances of making it out of the first round, but they might need one for their grieving point guard even more.

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“It’s been a dark cloud over our team for the past few games, the past few days,” Celtics forward Jae Crowder said in an interview with USA TODAY Sports on Thursday. “Just try to lift it up, try to get a win and bring some sunshine in.”

Isaiah Thomas has been back in Washington state since Wednesday following the tragic death of his younger sister, Chyna, this past weekend. She died in a single-car accident on Saturday morning. Thomas played in both Games 1 and 2, and coach Brad Stevens said Thomas was flying into Chicago Thursday night ahead of Friday’s Game 3.

“I don’t think none of us are really going to understand what he’s going through,” Celtics center Al Horford said. “This is something that’s very personal to him.”

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“He said, out of his mouth, to us as a unit, I’m going to be with my family, and I’ll be ready for Game 3,” Crowder said. “And the best thing you can do for me is look in the mirror and see what you can do to help our team get a win. Everybody in the world is probably sending him text messages and all that, I’m sorry, and he’s probably tired of hearing that, you know? He probably just wants to play and wants to get a win very badly.”

The top-seeded Celtics dropped the first two games of their first-round series to the Chicago Bulls at home. Thomas, just one day after hearing the news, scored a game high 33 points in Game 1 as the Celtics fell 106-102 to the Bulls. Two days later Thomas and the Celtics struggled in Game 2 while Chicago stars Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo controlled the tempo of game.

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“It’s been a challenge for us, obviously,” Crowder said. “I feel like us getting away from home, and away from all the other distractions, will help us. I really, truly feel that way. It’s been a roller coaster, these past few games and these past few days. Just trying to get the team’s spirits up and play with more of a purpose.”

Follow USA TODAY Sports' Michael Singer on Twitter @msinger.

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