EX-SIXER JRUE HOLIDAY STEALS GAME 3 FOR CELTS, WATCH!

By Max Harper

Jrue Holiday converted a three-point play with 38.9 seconds left to give Boston its first lead in nearly 36 minutes, followed that with the game-saving steal and then clinched the 114-111 victory at Indiana with two free throws to give Celtics a commanding 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

The Celtics overcame an 18-point deficit in the second half and can earn their second NBA Finals trip in three years with another win Monday at Indiana.

“I’m all right, had a fever, slept a lot. But I feel OK,” Holiday said. “I just made a play (at the end). He’s a great player, had a great game. I just made a play.”

Holiday finished with 14 points, five in the final 39 seconds, and had nine rebounds on a night that, at times, he appeared to be under the weather. Afterward, though, he sounded like himself and felt well enough to balance his children on his lap.

As Holiday struggled to find his footing, Boston’s other players got the job done.

Jayson Tatum matched his playoff career high with 36 points and had 10 rebounds and eight assists. Jaylen Brown added 24 points, and 37-year-old Al Horford had 23 points and was 7-of-12 on 3-pointers.

But it was Holiday’s late-game heroics that silenced Indiana’s raucous crowd and kept Boston a perfect 5-0 on the road in this season’s playoffs.

“I’m glad we got him, Jrue’s a hell of a competitor,” Tatum said. “Obviously, he’s won a championship. For him to come out here and put it all on the line for us and come up with a big play to win the game, we’ve got a hell of a team.”

The Pacers were already facing a formidable road back in this series – even before they learned All-NBA guard Tyrese Haliburton would not play in Game 3 because of a left hamstring injury. It’s not clear if he’ll be available for Game 4, either.

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