Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were the heroes for the Celtics on Tuesday night, but Jrue Holiday was the X-factor of Eastern Conference finals Game 1

The Boston stars acknowledged the veteran guard’s contributions and didn’t think the C’s would have pulled off the overtime victory at TD Garden without him. Holiday was efficient on offense and shut down Indiana Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton while playing 48 minutes.

Haliburton was 0-for-3 from the floor and turned the ball over two times when he was guarded by Holiday. The two-time All-Star shared his respect for the Celtics guard after Game 1.

“He’s the best defender in the NBA,” Haliburton told reporters, per NBA TV video. “He has been for a long time. I was just trying to get as far to the left wing as I could so I could get downhill to my right, and I had the spin to set it up. But I just dribbled it off my foot. It’s unfortunate. It’s frustrating for sure. It happens. We make mistakes. We’re human. I’ll learn from it, and I’ll be better in Game 2.”

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Haliburton still scored 25 points and dished out 10 assists, and the Pacers were able to score in transition. So Boston knows it will need to make adjustments to avoid another scare and avoid another Game 2 loss in the playoffs.

Featured image via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images