Boston Celtics

Jaylen Brown: Jrue Holiday ‘the reason we won Game 1' vs. Pacers

Holiday's 28 points marked his highest total as a Celtic.

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BOSTON -- Jaylen Brown had the clutch moment, but Jrue Holiday starred from start to finish in the Boston Celtics' thrilling overtime win over the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Hours after being named second-team All-Defense -- his sixth All-Defensive nod in the last seven years -- Holiday had his best offensive game as a Celtic. The veteran guard dropped a season-high 28 points, trailing only Jayson Tatum (36 points) in the scoring column.

Holiday's outburst continued his torrid stretch dating back to Game 3 vs. Cleveland. As Celtics stats guru Dick Lipe notes, this is the first time since late December that Holiday scored at least 13 points in four consecutive games.

Holiday added eight assists, seven rebounds, and three steals to his stellar stat line. Brown, who hit the game-tying 3-pointer to force overtime, credited Holiday with leading the C's to victory.

"Jrue was fantastic. Jrue was exceptional," Brown said. "Shoutout to Jrue. Jrue came out and balled, man. He's the reason we won this game. I think he just was poised. He took advantage of his matchups. He just was so elite. And he's guarding Haliburton, picking him up, chasing him around. That was special from Jrue Holiday."

Holiday's defense on Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton in overtime helped seal Boston's 133-128 win. Haliburton praised his counterpart after the game.

"He's the best defender in the NBA. He has been for a long time." Haliburton said. ... "It's unfortunate. It's frustrating for sure. But it happens. We make mistakes, we're human. I learned from it and I'll be better in Game 2."

Holiday was the difference-maker in Game 1 and, given the matchup between the league's top two offenses, he could be the X-factor for this series. He'll look to duplicate his performance during Thursday night's Game 2 at TD Garden.

Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. ET. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live on NBC Sports Boston.

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