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Thomas scores 33, Celtics beat Bulls 104-95 to tie series

CHICAGO (AP) Isaiah Thomas is playing through tears after the death of his sister, drawing strength from the rest of the Boston Celtics.

They found another gear in Chicago.

Thomas scored 33 points, and the Celtics beat the Bulls 104-95 on Sunday to tie their first-round playoff series at 2-all.

''Mentally and emotionally, I'm not here so I just feed off what the guys give me,'' Thomas said. ''They give me a lot of confidence. I can't do it without those guys. They believe in me and being here is what makes me feel sane and somewhat normal through these tough times.''

Thomas' life changed just over a week ago when his younger sister Chyna was killed in a one-car crash in their home state of Washington. He spent time with his family in Tacoma between games in Boston and Chicago.

With Game 4 at a critical juncture, the All-Star guard provided a huge lift for a team that has been supporting him in the toughest of times.

Thomas keyed a third-quarter run after the Bulls wiped out a 20-point deficit and briefly went ahead, helping top-seeded Boston return the favor in Chicago after dropping the first two games at home.

Gerald Green made four 3-pointers on his way to 18 points. Al Horford added 15 points and 12 rebounds, and the Celtics pulled even in a series that was in danger of becoming a rout. Game 5 is Wednesday in Boston.

Jimmy Butler carried the Bulls with 33 points and nine assists. Nikola Mirotic and seldom-used Isaiah Canaan each scored 13 points, but Dwyane Wade finished with just 11.

Canaan made his first appearance since April 10, with Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg searching for help at point guard with Rajon Rondo missing his second straight game because of a broken right thumb.

''Just like last game, we were using a lot of energy just to come back,'' Wade said. ''Better starts here at home could've did us a little justice. I thought they did a great job of sticking with their game plan, making tough shots offensively.''

The Celtics led by 20 in the second quarter and were still up 10 in the third when Chicago scored 12 straight. The Bulls went ahead 65-63 on Robin Lopez's hook shot with 4:35 left in the quarter.

Thomas answered with back-to-back layups and scored 10 points in a 12-0 run that gave the Celtics a 75-65 lead, and they withstood a push by the Bulls early in the fourth.

CARRY ON

Hoiberg praised Thomas as an ''unbelievable competitor'' and a ''warrior.'' But he also insisted the guard is getting away with carrying the ball.

''When you're allowed to discontinue your dribble on every possession he's impossible to guard,'' Hoiberg said. ''When you're able to put your hand underneath the ball and take two or three steps and put it back down, it's impossible to guard him in those situations.''

Thomas agreed he is just about impossible to defend, saying ''not one man can guard me.'' For that, he credited his teammates and coaches for putting him in position to succeed.

As for Hoiberg's comment?

''That's not the reason why I'm impossible to cover,'' Thomas said. ''I've been dribbling that way my whole life.''

GETTING HEATED

The Celtics led 41-21 early in the second quarter. But the game started to turn after Canaan stole the ball from Marcus Smart and scored on a layup.

Smart feigned throwing the ball at Butler. The two came nose to nose, resulting in technical fouls for both players, and the Bulls started to shoot their way back into it.

''He's a great actor, acting tough,'' Butler said. ''That's what he does but I don't think he's about that. I'm the wrong guy to get in my face. Take it somewhere else.''

He added: ''That's the first time, the last time too. We're not gonna sit here and get in each other's faces, he's not about that life.''

RONDO FINED

The NBA fined Rondo for attempting to trip Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder from the bench in Game 3. Crowder jawed at the Bulls' bench after hitting a jumper and Rondo extended his leg as Crowder walked by him.

TIP-INS

Celtics: Thomas was just 1 of 9 on 3-pointers but made 12 of 13 free throws.

Bulls: Butler made 19 of 23 foul shots after failing to get to the line in Game 3. ... Chicago was just 5 of 24 on 3-pointers even though Canaan - inactive for the first three games - nailed 3 of 7.

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Key Players
I. Thomas
4 PG
J. Butler
21 SF
37.2 Min. Per Game 37.2
24.1 Pts. Per Game 24.1
5.3 Ast. Per Game 5.3
6.6 Reb. Per Game 6.6
46.4 Field Goal % 45.6
43.7 Three Point % 44.5
89.5 Free Throw % 86.1
+ 3 Isaiah Canaan made 3-pt. jump shot 0:18
  Defensive rebound by Bobby Portis 0:24
  Al Horford missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:26
  Defensive rebound by Al Horford 0:48
  Bobby Portis missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:50
+ 1 Al Horford made free throw 0:59
  Shooting foul on Dwyane Wade 0:59
+ 2 Al Horford made layup, assist by Marcus Smart 0:59
+ 1 Jimmy Butler made 2nd of 2 free throws 1:16
+ 1 Jimmy Butler made 1st of 2 free throws 1:16
  Shooting foul on Jae Crowder 1:16
Team Stats
Points 104 95
Field Goals 38-81 (46.9%) 32-76 (42.1%)
3-Pointers 10-37 (27.0%) 5-24 (20.8%)
Free Throws 18-22 (81.8%) 26-33 (78.8%)
Total Rebounds 48 50
Offensive 10 12
Defensive 31 32
Team 7 6
Assists 22 19
Steals 7 5
Blocks 4 4
Turnovers 13 12
Fouls 24 23
Technicals 2 1
away team logo
I. Thomas PG 4
33 PTS, 4 REB, 7 AST
home team logo
J. Butler SF 21
33 PTS, 5 REB, 9 AST
1234T
away team logo1 Celtics 2-2 30272225104
home team logo8 Bulls 2-21828242595
Team Stats
away team logoCeltics 2-2 105.2 PPG 37.9 RPG 26.9 APG
home team logoBulls 2-2 96.5 PPG 46.7 RPG 20.0 APG
Key Players
I. Thomas PG PPG RPG APG FG%
J. Butler SF PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
I. Thomas PG 33 PTS 4 REB 7 AST
J. Butler SF 33 PTS 5 REB 9 AST
46.9 FG% 42.1
27.0 3PT FG% 20.8
81.8 FT% 78.8
Celtics
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
I. Thomas 35 33 4 7 1 0 5 4 10/21 1/9 12/13 0 4 47 +17
G. Green 22 18 7 0 0 0 1 1 7/13 4/9 0/0 2 5 24 +4
A. Horford 36 15 12 4 1 1 0 1 6/11 1/3 2/2 1 11 37 +5
J. Crowder 40 11 2 1 2 0 1 4 5/9 1/4 0/0 0 2 16 +5
A. Bradley 33 8 1 2 1 0 3 3 3/9 1/6 1/2 1 0 11 +2
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
I. Thomas 35 33 4 7 1 0 5 4 10/21 1/9 12/13 0 4 47 +17
G. Green 22 18 7 0 0 0 1 1 7/13 4/9 0/0 2 5 24 +4
A. Horford 36 15 12 4 1 1 0 1 6/11 1/3 2/2 1 11 37 +5
J. Crowder 40 11 2 1 2 0 1 4 5/9 1/4 0/0 0 2 16 +5
A. Bradley 33 8 1 2 1 0 3 3 3/9 1/6 1/2 1 0 11 +2
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Olynyk 15 10 3 0 1 1 0 4 4/4 1/1 1/3 0 3 15 +5
M. Smart 33 5 8 6 1 1 3 5 2/7 1/2 0/0 4 4 24 +9
J. Jerebko 9 2 3 2 0 1 0 2 0/3 0/1 2/2 2 1 10 +1
T. Rozier 11 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1/4 0/2 0/0 0 1 3 0
J. Brown 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 -3
T. Zeller - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Mickey - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Jackson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Young - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Johnson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 104 41 22 7 4 13 24 38/81 10/37 18/22 10 31 187 +45
Bulls
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Butler 45 33 5 9 1 0 1 4 7/16 0/3 19/23 1 4 56 -4
N. Mirotic 34 13 7 1 1 0 1 4 4/11 2/8 3/3 0 7 22 -5
D. Wade 37 11 6 2 1 2 2 2 5/12 0/2 1/1 1 5 22 -5
R. Lopez 21 8 7 0 0 1 2 2 4/8 0/0 0/0 6 1 14 -4
J. Grant 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0/3 0/1 0/0 0 0 2 -10
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Butler 45 33 5 9 1 0 1 4 7/16 0/3 19/23 1 4 56 -4
N. Mirotic 34 13 7 1 1 0 1 4 4/11 2/8 3/3 0 7 22 -5
D. Wade 37 11 6 2 1 2 2 2 5/12 0/2 1/1 1 5 22 -5
R. Lopez 21 8 7 0 0 1 2 2 4/8 0/0 0/0 6 1 14 -4
J. Grant 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0/3 0/1 0/0 0 0 2 -10
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
I. Canaan 34 13 2 3 2 0 0 2 4/10 3/7 2/4 0 2 23 +11
B. Portis 22 8 8 1 0 1 1 1 4/7 0/1 0/0 1 7 18 -3
J. Lauvergne 6 6 3 1 0 0 1 1 3/6 0/1 0/0 2 1 10 -3
C. Felicio 10 3 3 0 0 0 1 4 1/1 0/0 1/2 0 3 5 -3
M. Carter-Williams 8 0 0 1 0 0 2 2 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0 0 -11
P. Zipser 13 0 3 0 0 0 1 1 0/2 0/1 0/0 1 2 2 -8
R. Rondo - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Morrow - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Valentine - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Payne - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 234 95 44 19 5 4 12 23 32/76 5/24 26/33 12 32 174 -45