Celtics' Isaiah Thomas: 'Mentally and emotionally I'm not here'

Celtics roar back in Game 3

Given the week Isaiah Thomas endured, Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens struggled to explain how his star guard managed to elevate his game the way he did against the Chicago Bulls.

"I was proud of how Isaiah Canaan played tonight, especially after being out with a lot of DNPs", said Hoiberg, who praised Thomas but added: "However, if you allow him to get under the ball and continue his dribble, it's impossible to guard him".

The two point guards he replaced, Jerian Grant and Michael Carter-Williams, were an nearly unfathomable minus-21 in thirteen minutes combined.

"This is honestly the first time he has touched a basketball with that right hand", Hoiberg said.

Another was when Wade missed a layup and Horford converted a fast-break, three-point play at the other end on a bad foul by Nikola Mirotic to make it 92-80 with 6:22 left.

And Isaiah Thomas, the MVP candidate who had carried the Celtics all season, was at the front of the miscues.

"We executed during that tough time when they were going on their run", Thomas said after the game while making his first public comments since the death of his sister, Chyna, on April 15.

"I thought his initial ball pressure was good". After not attempting a free throw in Game 3, Butler went 19-for-23 from the line, more attempts than the Celtics. Canaan will start at point guard Wednesday in Game 5 in Boston.

The Celtics went on a 12-0 run in the next three minutes and finished the third quarter leading 79-70.

"That's what I would be most anxious about", said Mannix.

Chris Paul had 27 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds for the Clippers, who will be without All-Star forward Blake Griffin (toe injury in Game 3) for the rest of the playoffs. Last night we took the lead and then had five empty possessions in a row where they scored on the other end. Head coach Fred Hoiberg said Rondo will be on the bench for a couple of postseason games against the East, wearing a cast that is reportedly part of his re-evaluation. Canaan showed on Sunday that he may be the best option for the Bulls minus Rondo.

"It's so early in the process", Hoiberg said of Rondo's potential return.

"Let me say this, Isaiah Thomas is a hell of a player", Hoiberg said after the game. No Bull has been able to guard Thomas the past two games. It was about the Boston Celtics establishing that Game 3's win wasn't a fluke. "It's the playoffs. We have to go out there and play basketball better than we did here". The Celtics point guard is heating up at the flawless time, and he's doing so while still trying to find his three-point shot. He played with a dislocated elbow during a playoff series against the Miami Heat in 2011, and played the fourth quarter of a game in 2013 with a torn ACL in his right knee, two days before the injury was diagnosed.