Isaiah Thomas puts on stellar performance on late sister's birthday, just days after her funeral

Isaiah Thomas, the Boston Celtics' star point guard, had the game of his life Tuesday night.

In Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Washington Wizards, Thomas put up 53 points in 44 minutes to lead his team to a thrilling overtime victory.

The Celtics' point guard, who is listed at 5 foot 9, averaged just under 30 points per game this season. Tuesday night was Thomas' highest scoring game of his career.

It was an incredible display that has earned comparisons to the likes of Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson and John Havlicek.

The story behind his performance, however, is heartbreaking.

"It's my sister — happy birthday — she would have been 23 today," Thomas said after Tuesday's win. "Everything I do is for her and she's watching over me."

Thomas' younger sister, Chyna, was killed in a one-car crash in their home state of Washington on April 15. Her funeral was held this past Saturday, after the Celtics' first round defeat of the Chicago Bulls and before their current series with the Wizards began.

The family reportedly put the services off so Thomas could attend without missing any games.

Thomas gave a moving eulogy for his sister at the funeral, and also addressed how he has managed to keep playing in the face of such a tragedy.

"When I found out the news I wanted to give up and quit. And never in my life have I ever thought about quitting," he said. "I realized quitting isn't an option. That's the easy way out. I will keep going for my sister, as I know she wouldn't want me to stop. I love you Chyna and I miss you so much. And everything I do for the rest of my life will be for you. I love you, girl."

The entire team has been wearing black bands on their jerseys throughout the playoffs in honor of Chyna, whose death came just one day before the beginning of the postseason. Her brother has started every single game since.

Thomas' historic performance on his late sister's birthday seems to be aligned with the promises he made to her during his eulogy.

"My sister wouldn't want me to stop," he said in Tuesday's postgame interview. "The only thing about it is, once I leave this gym, I hit reality and she's not here. So that's the tough part. But, when I'm in this arena, I can lock in and I know everything I do is for her."

Thomas and the Celtics currently lead the Washington Wizards 2-0 in a best-of-four series. Game 3 will be held Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. in Washington.

See more from Isaiah Thomas' basketball career:

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Isaiah Thomas through his career
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Isaiah Thomas through his career
KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 24: Isaiah Thomas #2 of the Washington Huskies dribbles the ball downcourt against the Kansas Jayhawks during the CBE Classic game on November 24, 2008 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 20: Guard Isaiah Thomas #2 of the Washington Huskies reacts after a play during their 82-64 win over the New Mexico Lobos in the second round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at HP Pavilion on March 20, 2010 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CA -JUNE 25: Isaiah Thomas #22 of the Sacramento Kings smiles for the camera following a press conference on June 25, 2011 at Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2011 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 26: Isaiah Thomas #22 of the Sacramento Kings in action besides Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Power Balance Pavilion on December 26, 2011 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2011 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sacramento Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas (22) reacts to teammate Marcus Thornton (23) fouling Denver Nuggets shooting guard Arron Afflalo (6) at the end of regulation, which resulted in overtime, during the second half of the Nuggets' 119-116 win at the Pepsi Center on Monday, March 5, 2011. AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post (Photo By AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 15: (NEW YORK DAILY NEWS OUT) Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks tries to get by Isaiah Thomas #22 of the Sacramento Kings during a game on February 15, 2012 at the Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
The Sacramento Kings' Isaiah Thomas and San Antonio Spurs' Gary Neal, top, battle for a loose ball in the third quarter at Power Balance Arena in Sacramento, California, on Wedesday, March 28, 2012. San Antonio edged Sacramento, 117-112. (Jose Luis Villegas/Sacramento Bee/MCT via Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 30: Isaiah Thomas #22 of the Sacramento Kings trying to listen in on the Boston Celtics on December 30, 2012 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 13: Isaiah Thomas #22 of the Sacramento Kings celebrate against the Chicago Bulls on March 13, 2013 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Isaiah Thomas #22 of the Sacramento Kings shoots a free throw against the Los Angeles Clippers at Sleep Train Arena on November 1, 2013 in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. The Clippers won the game 110-101. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CA - JANUARY 12: Isaiah Thomas #22 of the Sacramento Kings is interviewed after the victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 12, 2014 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 29: Isaiah Thomas #3 of the Phoenix Suns poses for a photo during Media Day on September 29, 2014 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - NOVEMBER 05: Isaiah Thomas #3 of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game against the Memphis Grizzlies at US Airways Center on November 5, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Grizzlies defeated the Suns 102-91. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - FEBRUARY 23: Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Boston Celtics gives a thumbs up to fans before the start of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on February 23, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MARCH 1: Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Boston Celtics poses for a portrait before the game against the Golden state Warriors on March 1, 2015 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Steve Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 27: Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Boston Celtics takes a free throw against the Charlotte Hornets at the TD Garden on February 27, 2015 in Boston, Ma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 19: Matthew Dellavedova #8 of the Cleveland Cavaliers fights for a loose ball with Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Boston Celtics in the second half during Game One in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs 2015 at Quicken Loans Arena on April 19, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Celtics 113-100. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 13: Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Boston Celtics before the game against the Atlanta Hawks on November 13, 2015 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 09: Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Boston Celtics carries the ball against the Chicago Bulls during the first quarter at TD Garden on December 9, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
MEMPHIS, TN - JANUARY 10: Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Boston Celtics shoots the ball against the Memphis Grizzlies on January 10, 2016 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC -� JANUARY 16: Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Boston Celtics shoots a free throw during the game against the Washington Wizards on January 16, 2016 at Verizon Center in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 14: Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Eastern Conference dribbles the ball during the NBA All-Star Game as part of 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 14, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 29: Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Boston Celtics takes a shot against the Utah Jazz after a timeout is called during the second quarter at TD Garden on February 29, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MARCH 11: Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Boston Celtics looks on during the fourth quarter at TD Garden on March 11, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Rockets defeat the Celtics 102-98. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 3: Jonas Jerebko #8 of the Boston Celtics celebrates with Isaiah Thomas #4 after a made basket against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center on December 3, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Celtics defeated the 76ers 107-106. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 7: A pick by Boston Celtics center Al Horford (#42) on New Orleans Pelicans guard Langston Galloway (#10) frees up Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (#4) on this play during the fourth quarter. The New Orleans Pelicans played the Boston Celtics at TD Garden in Boston on Jan. 7, 2017. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 13: Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Boston Celtics reacts after hitting a three-point basket against the Dennis Schroder #17 of the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on January 13, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Feb 19, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Eastern Conference guard Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics (4) shoots the ball against Western Conference guard Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors (11) in the 2017 NBA All-Star Game at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 16, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) stands alone during the fourth quarter of the Chicago Bulls 106-102 win over the Boston Celtics in game one of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 30: Isaiah Thomas #4 of the Boston Celtics reacts during the second quarter of Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Washington Wizards at TD Garden on April 30, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. Thomas lost his front tooth after colliding with Otto Porter Jr. #22. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
May 2, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas (4) reacts after scoring 53 points in defeating the Washington Wizards in game two of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
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