Heading into the season, the Boston Celtics were a sexy pick to possibly slide into the No. 2 playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. It hasn't come to fruition thus far. The C's certainly haven't been awful—they're currently in third at 16-12—but they've looked more like a middle-of-the-pack squad than a legit Eastern Conference Finals contender.
Until Tuesday night, when the gritty little man grinded out a big comeback victory in Memphis.
A few hours after True Hoop declared "The Memphis Grizzlies Sit Atop the Clutch Mountain," Isaiah Thomas sent that headline off to have a bluuuuuuuuuue, blue, blue, Christmas, scoring 36 of his career-high 44 points after halftime.
"[The Grizzlies] were punking us in the first half," Thomas told CSNNE after the game. "This might turn the season around [for us] for real."
In helping the C's erase a 17-point third-quarter deficit, the diminutive Thomas put on a masterclass in efficiency. He needed just 16 field-goal attempts on the evening to score his career-high 44 points, going ten of 16 from the field (62.5 percent!), seven of ten on three-point attempts (70 percent!!) and 17 of 17 from the charity stripe (100 percent!!!). He added six assists and a couple of steals for the bow on his beautiful gift to Boston fans.
Thomas made a bit of history, hitting a mark unhit by all but one:
In last 50 yrs the only Celtics guard to score more pts than Isaiah Thomas did tonight is the man who traded for him, current GM Danny Ainge
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 21, 2016
In a post-game interview with ComCast Sportsnet, Thomas said, "I'm a killa, I'm a killa," in reference to a gift from his under-5'10" bestie.