Isaiah Thomas had a memorable performance Tuesday night in the Celtics' playoff game against the Wizards. The most important part is Boston got the win, 129-119 in overtime, but it wouldn't have been possible without I.T. We're going to break down his achievement in to five stats to put what he did into perspective.
53 points most ever for point guard in playoffs
Thomas scored 53 points as a point guard, which is the highest output ever for the position (h/t Reddit). Allen Iverson has scored more than that (54, 55), but in both of those seasons he was listed as a shooting guard those seasons. Jerry West also matched that output in the 1969 playoffs, but was also listed as a shooting guard at that time.
Getting this kind of scoring production from a point guard is uncommon, which makes Thomas' game that much more impressive.
First player under 6 feet to score 50+ in NBA playoffs
According to ESPN Stats and Info, Thomas became the second player 6-feet or shorter to score over 50 points. Well, considering Iverson's height is listed at 6-foot exactly, we think it's fair to say Thomas is the first under 6-foot to score over 50.
This stat isn't too surprising considering there haven't been many players under 6-feet, and there are even fewer players to reach the 50-point mark in the playoffs. But it's still cool to see Thomas overcoming his height to achieve historic success.
Historic first two games vs. Wizards
Not only did Thomas go for 53 points in the second game of the series, but he did so after dropping 33 in Game 1. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, his 86 points in the first two games is the highest combined total ever in the first two games of any series.
Isaiah Thomas nearly matched the entire Wizards
The majority of Thomas' output came late in the game, as he so often did this entire season. Thomas scored 29 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, which almost matched the Wizards as a team, who scored 30. Comparing one player's stats to an entire team is always impressive when they are nearly identical.
Isaiah Thomas had to match opponent John Wall
According to the TNT broadcast, this was the first playoff game ever where a player on team (Thomas) scored at least 50 while a player on the opposing team (John Wall) scored at least 40. Wall finished the game with exactly 40, and even added 13 assists to go along with it.
Wall joined Russell Westbrook this year as the only two players to have 40+ points and 13 assists in a single playoff game in the last four decades.