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Jrue Holiday performance Lead Celtics to Big Win, 3-0 Lead in East Finals over Pacers

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Jrue Holiday celebrate with teammate against Indiana Pacers, Saturday May 25, 2024.

Despite feeling unwell all day, Jrue Holiday, the Celtics guard, pushed through. He had even missed the team’s morning shootaround. But when it truly counted, Jrue Holiday showed up strong and played well for the Celtics.

With just 38.9 seconds left on the clock, Jrue Holiday made a crucial play, scoring a basket and earning a free throw for Boston. This turned the game around, giving Boston their first lead in almost 36 minutes. Then, he made a game-saving steal, securing the ball for his team.

To seal the deal, Jrue Holiday calmly sank two free throws, securing a 114-111 victory for the Celtics over Indiana. This win puts the Celtics in a commanding position with a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

Despite trailing by 18 points in the second half, the Celtics fought back and managed to tie the game. They now have a chance to advance to the NBA Finals for the second time in three years with a win on Monday in Indiana.

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Jrue Holiday, despite feeling under the weather, downplayed his own contribution, saying, “I’m alright, had a fever, slept a lot. But I feel OK. I just made a play (at the end). He’s a great player, had a great game. I just made a play.”

Jrue Holiday ended the game with 14 points, five of which came in the last 39 seconds. He also grabbed nine rebounds. Despite seeming unwell during parts of the game, he managed to contribute significantly to the Celtics’ victory.

Jrue Holiday celebrate with teammate.
Jrue Holiday celebrate with teammate.

After the game, he seemed to recover, sounding like his usual self. He even felt well enough to have his children sit on his lap, showing that he was back to feeling like himself.

While Jrue Holiday faced difficulties finding his rhythm, other Boston players stepped up to fill the gap. Jayson Tatum delivered an impressive performance, tying his playoff career high with 36 points. He also contributed 10 rebounds and eight assists. Jaylen Brown added 24 points to the scoreboard.

Additionally, the veteran Al Horford, at 37 years old, showcased his skills with 23 points, including hitting 7 out of 12 attempted 3-pointers.

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However, it was Holiday’s clutch plays towards the end of the game that hushed the noisy Indiana crowd and maintained Boston’s flawless 5-0 record on the road in this season’s playoffs.

Tatum expressed his gratitude for having Jrue on their team, highlighting his exceptional competitiveness. Acknowledging Jrue’s championship experience, Tatum emphasized the value of having him on the squad. Jrue’s dedication to the game and his pivotal play in securing the win showcased the strength and depth of their team.

The Pacers were already dealing with a tough challenge in this series, and it got even tougher when they found out that their star guard, Tyrese Haliburton, wouldn’t be able to play in Game 3 due to a left hamstring injury. This setback added to their uphill battle, and it’s uncertain whether he’ll be ready for Game 4 as well.

Despite facing adversity, the Pacers showed resilience and determination throughout the game.

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Andrew Nembhard delivered an outstanding performance, achieving a career-high 32 points for the Pacers. However, in the game’s crucial moments, Jrue Holiday made a decisive steal from Nembhard with only 3.3 seconds left on the clock.

T.J. McConnell also contributed significantly, finishing the game with 23 points, nine rebounds, and six assists. Meanwhile, both Myles Turner and Pascal Siakam showcased their scoring prowess, each adding 22 points to the Pacers’ tally. Turner also secured 10 rebounds, displaying his versatility on the court.

In the final moments of the game, Indiana had a chance to tie the score and force overtime, but Aaron Nesmith’s three-point attempt missed the mark.

Despite their strong performance throughout the game, highlighted by their impressive 69-point first-half scoring display. Teir ability to build substantial 18-point leads on two occasions, as well as maintaining a 107-99 advantage with just three minutes left against the NBA’s top team. It became apparent that the Pacers sorely missed the presence of Tyrese Haliburton on the court.

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His absence was deeply felt, underscoring his significance to the team’s overall strategy and dynamics. The Pacers’ resilience and competitiveness were evident, but without Haliburton. They faced a formidable challenge in maintaining their momentum against a tough opponent like the Celtics.

Coach Rick Carlisle praised his team’s effort, describing them as “courageous” and acknowledging their strong performance despite falling short in the game. He expressed confidence in their ability to bounce back for the next game on Monday. Which emphasizing their determination to come back even stronger.

The atmosphere in the arena added to the intensity of the game, with a sellout crowd predominantly dressed in gold checkered flag shirts. Which adorned with stamps featuring Indiana’s state outline.

Celtics and Indiana Pacers teams trying to put ball in basket.
Celtics and Indiana Pacers teams trying to put ball in basket.

The presence of actors attending the Indianapolis 500 weekend celebration. Further energized the Pacers’ home court advantage, reminiscent of the support they received in their previous playoff home games, all of which resulted in victories.

Jrue Holiday’s late-game heroics, including a crucial layup, a go-ahead free throw. A pivotal defensive play, and two more free throws to secure the win with just 1.1 seconds remaining, silenced the crowd on a thrilling and eventful night.

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Indiana had surged ahead to an 18-point lead in the middle of the second quarter. By managed to replicate that margin once again midway through the third quarter. However, Boston rallied back, fueled by a series of turnovers by the Pacers. Which igniting a 13-4 scoring spree that narrowed the gap to 90-81 by the end of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter began with the Celtics launching a 9-3 offensive surge. By closing the gap to 93-90 after Al Horford sunk a critical 3-pointer with 8:29 remaining on the clock.

Despite Indiana’s efforts to maintain control, they found themselves in a tight spot as Boston fought back fiercely. The Pacers managed to rebuild their lead to 107-99 with just over three minutes left. However, their momentum was abruptly halted as Boston mounted a remarkable 13-2 scoring spree, led by Jrue Holiday.

Reflecting on the team’s performance, Jayson Tatum emphasized their resilience in facing every challenge head-on. He acknowledged the importance of staying focused on the next game. Which highlighting the special opportunity they have to secure a spot in the finals.

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Tatum emphasized the need to remain grounded and focused on the task at hand, without overlooking the upcoming game on Monday.

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