The Boston Celtics boosted their championship potential when they acquired Jrue Holiday before the season.

His impact mattered to set the defensive culture during the regular season. Ultimately, the Celtics envisioned him making championship plays in the postseason when it mattered most.

Holiday brought those visions to life for the Celtics on Saturday night.

The veteran guard had nine points before getting the ball in his hands as the Celtics trailed by two in the midst of a furious comeback in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Indiana Pacers. Holiday attacked the basket, made the shot and drew a foul from Indiana’s Pascal Siakam. Holiday drained the free throw to take the lead.

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On the ensuing sequence, Holiday’s patented defense came into the spotlight, forcing a steal on Andrew Nembhard. Holiday got fouled in transition, went back to the line and added two more points to seal the dramatic 114-111 win for the Celtics.

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In the game’s biggest moment, the 2021 NBA champion made championship plays.

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“I think with the and-one, I just saw an opportunity,” Holiday told Abby Chin on NBC Sports Boston’s postgame coverage. “I think Siakam was on his heels, so I just attacked him and got the and-one. I think just reacting to the player. We know (Nembhard) likes to drive right. I kind of shot it and got the steal.”

Holiday’s veteran impact on the Celtics showed on Saturday night as the team never lost sight of the ability to come back and stun the Pacers on their home floor in Indiana.

“We’ve been in similar situations,” Holiday added. “Reverse situations. Just knowing that if you stick with it and keep grinding, we can get the win.”

The Celtics and Pacers meet in Game 4 on Monday night, and Boston can clinch a trip to the NBA Finals. That is, obviously, exactly why Holiday joined this team — to push Boston over the championship hurdle.

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Featured image via Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports Images