Jrue Holiday’s body wasn’t ready hours ahead of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, but the 33-year-old’s mind was, understanding what was at stake for the Celtics on Saturday night.

Holiday was a no-go for shootaround, dealing with an illness that threatened his status for Game 3 against the Pacers. But the extra hours of rest paid off, and by the time Boston’s starting lineup stepped foot at center court for the opening tip at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Holiday was right there — determined and ready to go.

“I didn’t feel too well,” Holiday revealed after Boston’s 114-111 Game 3 win, per CLNS Media. “But I guess I just figured if I got a good day’s rest or tried to sleep through it; that it would help me for tonight. It’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals so I wasn’t going to miss this game.”

In terms of reliability, Holiday stood tall at the forefront for the Celtics this season. He finished third in minutes (32.8) — behind Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown — and currently ranks second in the postseason (37.9). Holiday’s offensive patience and killer defensive instinct kicked in at the right time, sealing the deal for Boston after the team trailed Indiana by as many as 18 points in the third quarter.

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With under 10 seconds left in regulation and the Celtics leading the Pacers, 112-111, Holiday poked away a loose ball from Indiana’s Andrew Nembhard and drew a foul on the other end. Holiday’s defensive stop was rewarded with two free-throw attempts and he knocked down both to push Boston to within one win of the NBA Finals with a commanding 3-0 series lead over Indiana.

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“For him to come out there and lay it all on the line for us,” Jayson Tatum explained, per CLNS Media, “make the game-winning play, essentially, especially on the defensive end, Jrue is just a big-time player. He made a tremendous play.”

Tatum added: “I can’t speak highly enough about Jrue.”

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Holiday finished with 14 points, scoring nine in the fourth quarter, with nine rebounds, three assists, and three steals in 38 minutes for the C’s — logging a performance that best encapsulates Boston’s itch to pry away the All-Star guard from the Trail Blazers this past offseason.

“It was definitely a team effort,” Holiday said. “I think from being down 18 we knew that we could lock in defensively and be better, and it showed. But it was definitely a team effort.”

The Holiday flu game can forever enrich the Celtics’ history book if the team closes out the series and finishes the job, either against the Timberwolves or Mavericks, in the NBA Finals.

Featured image via Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports Images