Jrue Holiday Pulls Up Clutch As Celtics Complete 18-Point Comeback To Extend Lead Over Pacers

(MENAFN- IANS) Indianapolis, May 26 (IANS) Boston Celtics pulled off a dramatic comeback, defeating the Indiana Pacers 114-111 to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the Eastern conference Finals.

In a gutsy performance on Saturday night, Jrue Holiday, battling an illness, emerged as the hero with a clutch three-point play and a game-saving steal in the final seconds.

The Pacers got off to a hot start, building an 18-point lead in the first half. However, the resilient Celtics refused to go down without a fight. Jayson Tatum, leading the charge with 36 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists. Jaylen Brown (24 points) and Al Horford (23 points, 7 threes) provided crucial support, keeping Boston within striking distance.

The turning point came in the final stretch. With the score tied and 38 seconds left, Holiday, who was listed as questionable with an illness before the game, took over. He converted a contested three-pointer and drew a foul, giving the Celtics a crucial three-point lead. Indiana didn't give up, but Holiday sealed the victory with a crucial steal on Andrew Nembhard (career-high 32 points) with just 3.3 seconds remaining.

"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," said Tatum in the post match interview.

The win extends Boston's playoff winning streak to six games. The Celtics now have a chance to clinch their second NBA Finals appearance in three seasons with a victory in Game 4 on Monday night in Indianapolis.

The Pacers, missing the crucial playmaking of All-NBA guard Tyrese Haliburton due to a hamstring injury, were unable to hold on to their early lead. This marks their first loss at home in the postseason, snapping a seven-game winning streak. With their backs against the wall, Indiana will need to find a way to respond and avoid a sweep if they want to extend their dream run.

Brief Scores:

Boston Celtics 114 (Tatum 36 pts, Brown 24 pts)

Indiana Pacers 111 (Nembhard 32 pts, Siakam 22 pts)



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