76ers

NBA Playoffs: Isaiah Thomas goes off for 53 points in Celtics' OT win vs. Wizards

NBA Playoffs: Isaiah Thomas goes off for 53 points in Celtics' OT win vs. Wizards

BOSTON -- It was his sister's birthday.

She would have been 23.

Isaiah Thomas spent four or five hours in the dentist's chair having work done on the tooth that was knocked out in Game 1, a day after he was in oral surgery for six hours having it repositioned in his mouth. His mouth was swollen, and he could barely talk. Still, he never considered not playing Tuesday night.

"The least I can do is go out there and play for her," Thomas said after scoring 53 points -- the second-highest total in Celtics playoff history -- to lead Boston to a 129-119 overtime victory over the Washington Wizards.

"I knew once game-time came, my guys would get me going, get me the energy to go out and win a game," Thomas said, ducking his face into his hands as he mentioned his sister, Chyna, who died in a car crash on the eve of the playoffs. "There was no way I was sitting out."

Fiddling with his new mouth guard throughout the game, Thomas scored 20 points in the fourth quarter and nine in overtime to help the Celtics take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals. The 53 points were the most in an NBA playoff game since Allen Iverson scored 55 in 2003, and just one shy of John Havlicek's franchise postseason record of 54 (see full recap).

Warriors cruise past Jazz in Game 1
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Stephen Curry pulled off a razzle-dazzle spin move right around big Rudy Gobert at the perimeter, went in for a layup and raised his hands, begging the sellout crowd to do its thing.

The Golden State Warriors sure did theirs, using that up-tempo, pass-happy style to run right by the Utah Jazz in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.

Curry scored 22 points in three quarters of work and the top-seeded Warriors warmed up in a hurry after a weeklong layoff between playoff games, beating the Jazz 106-94 on Tuesday night.

"I'll keep enjoying it. I feel like I have one of the better seats in the house and I'm not even paying for it," fill-in Warriors head coach Mike Brown said when asked about Curry's slick moves.

Draymond Green scored Golden State's first six points of the fourth quarter and wound up with 17 points, eight rebounds, six assists and two more blocks to bring his remarkable five-game playoff swat total to 19.

Kevin Durant added 17 points on an uncharacteristically cold shooting night at 7 for 17 and had five rebounds and five assists. He missed the middle two games against Portland because of a strained left calf then returned for 20 minutes in Game 4. Zaza Pachulia scored 10 points in 14 minutes.

Gobert had 13 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and a Flagrant 1 foul on Green in the fourth for the Jazz, who just finished off the Clippers in a seven-game series Sunday while the Warriors waited after eliminating Portland in a sweep April 24 (see full recap).

Sixers' Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot an artist on and off court

Sixers' Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot an artist on and off court

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot reached into the backpack he uses to carry around his belongings. Most players have headphones or iPads. 

Luwawu-Cabarrot had a sketchpad. 

The second-year guard has a knack for drawing. It is a talent he naturally possesses without formal training. 

“When I was a kid in school, I was just gifted,” Luwawu-Cabarrot said. “I just kind of liked it and kept doing it the whole year.”

Luwawu-Cabarrot draws to fill his time or whenever a certain image catches his eye. Going through his book of work (watch video above), he showed an intricately detailed shadowed sketch of a giraffe inspired by a picture he had seen. He penned a replication of a childhood photograph of his girlfriend, captivated by the expression in her eyes. 

Luwawu-Cabarrot also drew the image of his puppy that passed away while he was playing in Serbia. He is modest about his skill level with each piece. 

“I was trying to find something to draw or be inspired,” he said. “I took a picture of our former dog and I just drew it.” 

Luwawu-Cabarrot’s artwork hasn’t crossed over to basketball … yet. He does have a specific image in mind if he were to sketch his teammates: the reaction to T.J. McConnell’s game-winner against the Knicks last January. 

"I’ve thought about it," Luwawu-Cabarrot said. "Probably the picture when T.J. hit the two pointers for the win and Jo [Embiid] held him like this and screamed at him. That would be a cool picture."

76ers Gaming Club announce team name, logo for NBA 2K League

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NBA 2K League

76ers Gaming Club announce team name, logo for NBA 2K League

The 76ers Gaming Club is Philadelphia’s latest professional esports brand. 

Set to compete in the inaugural season of the NBA 2K League, the fresh new esports brand —  which was officially released on Thursday by Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment — maintains the Sixers' classic style, which includes seven stars circling around a bell made up of the numbers seven and six. 

“We are excited to unveil 76ers GC’s new brand identity as we welcome another dynamic sports property to the Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment family,” said Chris Heck, Philadelphia 76ers President of Business Operations. “Working alongside the NBA 2K League, we developed a brand identity that pays homage to the revolutionary origins of this city, speaks to the new Philadelphia fan and exemplifies the edge of the esports audience.”

Aggressive in its pursuit of esports investment opportunities, HBSE, already owners of Team Dignitas, a highly respected competitive esports club, bought into NBA 2K League with 16 other NBA franchises back in May. 

76ers GC joins Kings Guard Gaming (Sacramento Kings), Pistons GT (Detroit Pistons), Pacers Gaming (Indiana Pacers), Mavs Gaming (Dallas Mavericks), Cavs Legion GC (Cleveland Cavaliers), Wizards District Gaming (Washington Wizards), Magic Gaming (Orlando Magic), Jazz Gaming (Utah Jazz), Blazer5 Gaming (Portland Trailblazers) and Celtics Gaming (Boston Celtics). Also included will be the Toronto Raptors, Memphis Grizzlies, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks.

While 76ers GC was born to participate in NBA 2K League, it should be noted that the name “76ers Gaming Club” is void of any mention or image of basketball or NBA 2K. This leaves open the possibility of 76ers GC adding more competitive games and gamers under its brand in the future.

NBA 2K League is a professional esports league co-founded by the NBA and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., the creator of North America’s most popular sports title, NBA 2K. Players will receive a competitive salary and benefits. The league will begin its inaugural season, featuring five-on-five competition in May, following official player tryouts and a live player draft set for March.