But the injury only motivated Thomas as he proceeded to drop 25 fourth-quarter points against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Unfortunately, Isiah’s amazing fourth quarter was not enough to beat the Los Angeles Lakers, who won the game 103-102.
Here are some of the highlights.
On this day, 1988: Perhaps the most painful loss in Pistons history, and the most inspiring individual performance, in the exact same game: pic.twitter.com/qYdq4K87It
— Keith Black Trudeau (@Charlottean28) June 19, 2022
Isiah Thomas drops 25 points in one quarter vs. Lakers…on one leg!
Thomas finished with 43 points and eight assists and at times was the best player despite the injury. The finish was controversial as a “phantom” foul by Bill Laimbeer on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar gave the aging Lakers the lead for good. With his ankle still stiff and bothersome, Thomas was a non-factor in Game 7, which the Lakers won. Many believe if not for the injury, the “Bad Boy”-era Pistons would have three titles instead of two.
Here is what Thomas had to say about when he initially hurt his ankle.
“The first thing that went through my mind was that I had turned my ankle really bad,” Thomas said. “And I thought it was something that I could just run through.
But the more I put pressure on it, the more it hurt.”
The Pistons may have lost the game, and eventually the series, but there is no question about it that the performance Isiah Thomas put on in the fourth quarter will never be forgotten.