Published: Sat, January 06, 2018
Sports | By Spencer Underwood

Isaiah Thomas has 'love' for Boston, forgives Danny Ainge

Isaiah Thomas has 'love' for Boston, forgives Danny Ainge

Paul Pierce is scheduled to have his No. 34 jersey retired by the team on February 11, which happens to be the next time the Celtics host the Cleveland Cavaliers - and former Celtics star Isaiah Thomas - at TD Garden.

Because he sat out, Thomas and his representatives told the Celtics he would prefer not to have a tribute video in his honor displayed on the jumbotron on Wednesday night.

Wednesday also marks the first chance for Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas, two of the pieces that came back to Cleveland in the deal, to play in Boston.

Cavaliers forward LeBron James passes the ball as Celtics guard Kyrie Irving defends during the second quarter. He did 15 years here so there's nothing that I can take from him. But he says he's now moved a lot closer to a water-under-the-bridge mentality. Thomas will miss the game, being held out on the second night of a back-to-back after his impressive season debut against the Portland Trail Blazers. Going forward, however, all eyes will be on Thomas and how he fits with LeBron James (19 points) and Kevin Love (two points, 1-for-11). They've given me an opportunity to be who I always wanted to be and I can't thank them enough. Playing on back-to-back nights - the Celtics had been preparing for them since New Year's Eve - Cleveland shot 34.8 percent.

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"Every time he gets doubled, I'm thinking of ways I can help him out, scoring", Rozier said.

"I don't know who we are and who we can be until we get it back consistently", James said. "So, yeah, we're good", said Thomas of Ainge. He received a roaring standing ovation and acknowledged the sellout crowd in a heartfelt manner. "I was out seven months". Like, I just wanted my family to be here to see it. "For the most part when you get hurt the mental part is the toughest part".

The Cavs did exactly what they needed to do, both with regards to the game (a 127-110 win) and Thomas, as Tyronn Lue made a decision to slowly fold him into the rotation and have him play 19 minutes.

It was just 19 minutes in one game from Thomas, but his performance went a long way to show just how valuable he could be to another Cavaliers championship run.

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