WASHINGTON — Isaiah Thomas has not lacked for company as these playoffs have grown older. His brilliant performances within the frame of his sister’s passing the day before the Celtics began their postseason run have made for a compelling story, bringing not only friends and family closer to his side, but also a steady stream of additional media types with cameras and microphones and pens.

That trend continued Thursday night, as the Wizards crowded Thomas like paparazzi in an elevator. They took away his air space, leaving the All-Star guard gasping for 13 points on 3-of-8 shooting in 29 minutes. The Celtics were similarly stymied, stumbling to a 116-89 Game 3 loss that cut their series lead to 2-1.

“They had three guys on me, so I couldn’t really do anything,” Thomas said. “I mean, I’ll make the adjustments. It’s fine. They were very aggressive in pick-and-rolls and me coming off downscreens and things like that, and we didn’t adjust in the game. I don’t think we did a good job of screening and getting not just myself open, but anybody else open on our team on the offensive end. So we’ve got to do a way better job of that.

“But, I mean, other than that, they did what they were supposed to do. They hit first. They set the tone, and then the refs couldn’t control the game after that.”

It took Thomas nearly four minutes to get off his first shot, a missed 3-pointer. He had one more attempt – another missed trey – in the quarter. He scored on a couple of drives in the second quarter, but his unease with the entire production was evident as he missed four of his seven free throws in the first half.

Then injury was added to insult when his new dental work became dislodged. He remained inside as the second half began, coming back to the floor and re-entering the game 1:40 into the third quarter. By that time, the Washington lead was at 21 and on its way to 30.

“They came out, so I had to get them back in,” Thomas explained of his fake choppers. “They’re temporary, so if they get hit, they might crack, they might come out. I can’t get any permanent teeth in until the season’s over. It is what it is.”

Asked if he might be getting more surgery during the playoffs, Isaiah smiled a temporary smile and said, “I’m staying out of the dentist’s. You might see me with no teeth.”

Particularly as he vowed to be even more aggressive when driving into the teeth of the Washington defense in Game 4 on Sunday.

But Wizards Coach Scott Brooks was careful not to accept too much credit for his club in creating a Thomas output that was 40 points shy of what he did in Tuesday’s overtime win by the Celtics.

“He had a bad night,” Brooks said. “You know, he had a bad shooting night. Brad (Beal) had one last game. It happens. I mean, I know it’s surprising when it happens to him, because he’s one of the best players in the league. I think we did a little bit of … we did some things that I felt gave us a better chance to lock in, but he missed some shots and he struggled for a change.

“You can’t have a great game every night. He’s a championship player that will probably bounce back, and we’re going to try our best to do the same thing Sunday.”

Until then, Thomas will be studying what the Wizards did and looking for ways to exploit it.

“They were just showing more people,” he said. “Like Games 1 and 2, once I could get past the second guy, it was kind of open. But they probably had a point of emphasis of clogging the lane when I come off pick-and-rolls, show two or three guys – as they should.

“But, I mean, it won’t happen again. We’ll make the adjustments as a team. I’ll watch film. I’ll make the adjustments as myself and see where I can pick them apart. They did a really good job tonight though. On both ends of the floor, they set the tone.”

And Thomas never set his. He never felt comfortable.

“Obviously not,” he said. “I didn’t. At the beginning of the game, they just showed so many guys only when I was coming off (picks). I was just trying to make the right play. But next game I’ve got to be more aggressive. Whatever they do, I can’t worry about what they’re doing.

“Like I told my guys in the locker room, we’ve got to continue to be who we are. We’ve got to continue to set screens and get guys open. Even if they’re calling offensive fouls on the screens, we’ve just got to adjust. I think we didn’t do a good job of that on the offensive end – on top of letting them do whatever they want on their offensive end.”

The Celtics know the deal. They didn’t play with any concerted aggression, and they certainly didn’t take any of the pressure off Thomas.

“I think everybody on the court was aware of where he was at,” said Jae Crowder. “And, I mean, you can’t expect him to go for 50 every night. But that wasn’t the game. I think the game was them attacking us on both ends of the court. They put us on our heels.”

And now the Celtics have company in the series’ win column.