BOSTON (AP) Isaiah Thomas scored 53 points, nine in overtime, to help the Boston Celtics beat the Washington Wizards 129 119 on Tuesday night and take a 2 0 lead in the best of seven Eastern Conference semifinals.
Fiddling with the mouth guard he began using after losing one of his front teeth in Game 1, Thomas became the fourth player in the history of the NBA most decorated franchise to score 50 or more points in a postseason game. It was also a career best for Thomas in a playoff game.
It been a rough postseason for Thomas, whose sister died on the eve of the first round. He attended her funeral on Saturday and returned to Boston early Sunday morning just hours before the Celtics won 123 111 in a game where Thomas lost a tooth.
Team doctors jammed it back in, but Thomas spent part of Monday and Tuesday in the dentist chair to have it repositioned. In Game 2, he wasn the only one needing medical attention: Washington Otto Porter Jr. left the court with blood gushing from his nose, and Celtics guard Avery Bradley needed treatment for a hip pointer in the second half.
Al Horford scored 15 points with 12 rebounds for Boston, and 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.
One game after the Wizards scored the first 16 points of the game only to fall behind by 15 in the third, they erupted for 42 points in the first quarter and opened a 13 point lead. Wall had 19 in the first to 15 for Thomas, but Boston erased the deficit in the second quarter and took a brief lead with just over a minute left before the half.
Washington led by as many as 14 in the third and still had an 87 75 lead with just over 4 minutes left before Boston scored nine of the next 11 points to end the quarter.
Boston led 112 111 with 33 seconds left in the fourth when Porter hit a 3 pointer to give the Wizards the lead. Thomas was wholesale jerseys
fouled going to the basket and made two free throws to tie it, then both Wall and Bradley Beal missed short jumpers that could have won it in regulation.
The game was only about a minute old when Morris threw Horford into the crowd under the Celtics basket. Late in the first, Wall had to shake it off after landing on a prone Kelly Olynyk. Bradley sustained a hip pointer in a collision with 1:11 to play in the first half. And seconds later, Porter landed hard on his right wrist and elbow, but remained in the game.
Thomas banged his face on the court in the third and spent the next few minutes adjusting his teeth.
Thomas and Morris got into it midway through the third, drawing double technicals. Thomas appeared to be having words with someone on the Wizards bench, and Morris tried to push him away.
At the same time, Porter and Thomas appeared to bang heads and Porter headed to the locker room bleeding from the nose.
Wizards: Wall 19 first quarter points matched a career playoff high, as did his six first quarter assists. Gortat fouled out going for a rebound on Boston first possession of overtime.
Celtics: Thomas had 15 points in the first quarter, followed by five in the second. Boston shot 61 percent in the first half, but also had 10 turnovers. New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick was at the game. So was actor David Spade. Boston Terry Rozier had a career playoff high with 12 points.