It’s Thomas Time: Isaiah’s 53 points was one for the ages

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Isaiah Thomas’ Game 2 vs. the Washington Wizards Was One For The Ages When Isaiah Thomas looked at his imaginary watch on his left wrist, he wanted to let the whole world know what time it was. It was Isaiah Thomas time.

Isaiah’s sister Chyna Thomas was supposed to turn 23 on Tuesday. Instead, Isaiah Thomas dropped a monstrous 53 points on the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Chyna passed away on the eve of the Celtics’ first playoff game of 2017 following a car accident. Isaiah and his Celtics struggled in the first two games of the postseason and fell 0-2 to the Chicago Bulls. Thomas went home to Tacoma after Game 3 to visit his family. Since then, the Celtics have looked every bit the #1 seed in the East many felt they didn’t deserve.

“Today’s my sister’s birthday. She would have been 23 today,” Thomas said at the post game interviews. “So the least I can do is go out there and play for her.”

Isaiah didn’t just come to play on Tuesday night. He turned in a performance that put him on a very exclusive list. Though he’s not near the top of this list or even in the top ten, his name will forever be mentioned with the likes of Michael Jordan, Elgin Baylor, Jerry West and another small player that packed a scoring punch: Allen Iverson. Take a look:

Most Points Scored in Single Playoff Game
Rank Player Points Team Round
1 Michael Jordan 63 Chicago Bulls First Round
2 Elgin Baylor 61 Los Angeles Lakers NBA Finals
3 Charles Barkley 56 Phoenix Suns First Round
3 Michael Jordan 56 Chicago Bulls First Round
3 Wilt Chamberlain 56 Philadelphia Warriors Divisional Finals
6 Allen Iverson 55 Philadelphia 76ers First Round
6 Michael Jordan 55 Chicago Bulls First Round
6 Michael Jordan 55 Chicago Bulls NBA Finals
6 Michael Jordan 55 Chicago Bulls First Round
6 Rick Barry 55 Golden State Warriors NBA Finals
11 Allen Iverson 54 Philadelphia 76ers Conference Semifinals
11 Michael Jordan 54 Chicago Bulls Conference Finals
11 John Havlicek 54 Boston Celtics Conference Semifinals
14 Isaiah Thomas 53 Boston Celtics Conference Semifinals
14 Jerry West 53 Los Angeles Lakers NBA Finals

Here’s a full detailed list of the top playoff single-game scorers in NBA history.

Pound For Pound

Thomas exploded for an unbelievable 29 points in the fourth quarter and overtime combined. That tied him with Nate Robinson (2013) and LeBron James (2008) for the most points scored by a player in the fourth quarter and overtime of a single game. Thomas’ 53 point outburst even outdoes his regular season career high of 52 points.

Having a playoff career high in points that surpasses one’s regular season career high rarely ever happens.

More importantly, Thomas single-handedly brought the Celtics back from an early 42-29 deficit and kept them afloat when John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter were hitting big shots late in the game. Thomas’ two free throws with 14 seconds left in the 4th period tied the game at 114 apiece and sent it to overtime. It was all Boston from there.

Thomas became the first player under 6-feet tall to score 50 points in an NBA playoff game. His 53 is the most points scored in the playoffs since Allen Iverson’s 55 in 2003. It was also just one point shy of the Celtics franchise playoff record of 54 set by John Havlicek in 1973.

Isaiah’s Herculean not only gave Boston a 2-0 lead over the Raptors, it also placed him among the greats in a revered all-time list. Let’s take a look at where Thomas’ 53 ranks among the most points scored by a player in a single NBA playoff game:

Isaiah Thomas checks the time

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