Thomas to head to sister's funeral after Game 6 vs Bulls

Two teams fighting their way to the top. But in a six-game series loss to the No. 4 seed Washington Wizards, Howard averaged just 8.0 points on 50 percent shooting, to go with 10.7 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game. I thought we fought and battled, especially in Game 5 in Boston. "But ... he was there because his teammates needed him, and he knew he could go out there and help those guys".

Against the Bulls, Thomas played through tears at times. "I am not anxious about my future because I know it's basketball. He was expected to fly cross-country and arrive in Boston early Sunday morning, in time to play in the 1 p.m. start of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Wizards".

The oldest player in this series, 33-year-old Marcin Gortat, was just a couple months old when that series took place.

Wall's backcourt partner, Bradley Beal has played well against Boston. "We're not fighting out here". I was embraced by the coaches, the players, and it was some good moments and some bad moments, just like every season. That's how it is. Consequently, this gives them a slight edge to win the series. The Bulls need to decide if they're going to build with him or go all in on a tear-down and trade one of the league's best two-way players. That was when things started getting heated, centering around Wizards superstar John Wall and the Celtics' Isaiah Thomas.

Isaiah Canaan scored nine points, Michael Carter-Williams added eight points off the bench and Paul Zipser had seven for the Bulls.

And yet, despite playing with a comfortable lead, the realized they couldn't coast and inevitable as the final result seemed, the Celtics realized they couldn't allow the Chicago Bulls any hope of extending their season.

After the game, the teams exchanged words, and Crowder wound up wagging his finger in Wall's face. That was followed by Wall taking a whack at Crowder.

Two weeks later, the Wizards showed up in all-black - dressed for a funeral, Wall said.

In Game 5, the Celtics started fronting Butler in the high post, which was very effective.

On Friday, Stevens said, "Tomorrow's a lot more important than Sunday". "We're basketball players. We love it".

"Obviously it was different", Wade said Saturday at the United Center. "I came to (Jordan) during one of those timeouts in the fourth and said let's find a way". "I'm sure y'all be seeing that a lot the next 24 hours". After losing three close games in Washington, the Hawks finally ran out of steam. "But I moved on from it". Security had to break things up and at least four Boston police officers had to stand between both teams' locker rooms after the game. "But at some point, we will sit down and talk and I'll see what direction they're going in, and make a decision". This season, after signing Howard and handing the point guard job to Schroder, they dipped even further, going 43-39 during the regular season. That's the type of team they are. "They both have to be productive for us".

"They're one of the best backcourts in the National Basketball Association", he said. "Tacoma's small. We all know each other". All the Celtics needed was one more win to advance, and they had two opportunities to do so. I don't have to think about it right now. Brad Stevens kept an incredible perspective on the situation throughout the series and applauded his team for doing the same while still fighting for wins.

"We came here with that focus and determination that we wanted to do the same thing those guys did to us two years ago", Wall said.