Grieving Thomas thanks Celtics fans for support

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Apr 20 2017 09:39 AM | Updated as of Apr 20 2017 12:43 PM

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) stands alone during the fourth quarter of the Chicago Bulls 106-102 win over the Boston Celtics in game one of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Photo by Winslow Townson, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

NEW YORK -- Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas said Wednesday that friends, family and fans had helped him through "the hardest week of my life" after his sister, Chyna, died in a road accident.

"I never could have imagined a day where my little sister, Chyna, wouldn't be here," the fiery point guard said in a statement posted on the NBA team's website. "This has been without question the hardest week of my life.

"At the same time, I have been overwhelmed by the love and support I have received and couldn't be more thankful for my friends, family, fans, the city of Boston, Celtics organization and the NBA community."

Chyna Thomas, 22, died on Saturday in Washington state when her car drifted into a highway barrier and then struck a post head-on.

Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas (4) inscribed messages on his shoes dedicated to his late sister Chyna Thomas who was killed in a car accident on April 15, 2017, during the first quarter in game two of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Photo by Greg M. Cooper, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The crash came a day before the 28-year-old Thomas and the Celtics launched their NBA first-round playoff series against the Chicago Bulls.

Thomas soldiered through, scoring a game-high 33 points in the Celtics' game-one defeat and 20 points on Tuesday night in another home loss to the Bulls.

He hadn't spoken publicly since his sister's death until his statement.

Thomas flew home to Tacoma, Washington, on Wednesday to be with family, Celtics coach Brad Stevens said.

He plans to travel to Chicago for game three of the series against the Bulls on Friday. The rest of the team heads to Chicago on Thursday.

© Agence France-Presse

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