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NBA Playoffs: Isaiah Thomas leads Celtics in Game 2 win

After losing the first two games of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal to the Chicago Bulls, the Boston Celtics had the look of a top seed dead on its feet. As it turned out, the Celtics were merely waiting to get warmed up.

Since then, Boston has won six consecutive games, including the first two contests of their second-round matchup against the Washington Wizards. After taking Game 1 at TD Garden over the weekend, the Celtics beat the Wizards 129-119 in overtime on Tuesday night, led by Isaiah Thomas’ 53 points.

Thomas, who has dealt with the personal tragedy of losing his sister right before the start of the postseason, shot 18-of-33 from the floor in 45 minutes, willing his team to victory. He was tremendous at the line, knocking down 12-of-13 free throws while totaling five three-pointers in his memorable effort.

While the Celtics scored 129 points in the win, Thomas was the only member of his team to score more than 15 points. Al Horford was the other main contributor, racking up the aforementioned 15 points and 12 rebounds.

While it appears the Cleveland Cavaliers are the deserved favorites to come out of and represent the Eastern Conference, Boston is proving its mettle in these playoffs. The Celtics took out a very talented — if underachieving — Bulls team in the first round, and now are handling the Wizards, a team thought capable by many of winning this matchup.

Washington has been in both games, and even led this one by five points headed into the fourth quarter. However, the Wizards have not been able to play an ounce of defense throughout the first two contests. The Wizards allowed the Celtics to shoot 51.1 percent from the field on Tuesday, while also committing 17 turnovers on the offensive end.

The loss overshadowed what was a fantastic performance from the points guard on the other end in John Wall. Wall, who has quietly become one of the true superstars in the game today, scored a team-high 40 points on 16-of-32 shooting, while adding 13 assists, three steals and three blocks. However, Wall got little help from fellow star Bradley Beal, who played 41 minutes but shot just 4-of-15 from the field including a ghastly 1-of-9 from beyond the 3-point stripe. Beal finished with 14 points and six turnovers.

The series might not be over yet, but a win by Boston at the Verizon Center in Game 3 or 4 would likely spell doom for a Wizards teams that hasn’t won a title since 1978. Washington should take comfort in its ability to score the basketball against Boston, but without better defense — and much better — the season will be coming to a close sooner rather than later.

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