AP Photo/Charles Krupa
Shaquille O’Neal calls them “The Others”—the role players on a team that surrounds its superstars. On Wednesday night, Giannis Antetokounmpo needed one of his sidekicks to step up in a better way, with Khris Middleton still out with an injury.
Enter Junior Holiday.
The Milwaukee Bucks point guard came up with a crucial block on a Marcus Smart layup attempt in the dying moments and stripped him on Boston’s next possession, helping Milwaukee win 110-107 and grab a crucial Game 5 on the road.
WHAT A BLOCK BY JRUE HOLIDAY.
AND HE EARNS THE POSSESSION 🤯
6.6 left on TNT pic.twitter.com /zombWL9ipA
Bleacher Report @Bleacher Report
JRUE HOLIDAY… CLAMPS 🔒
GAME OVER pic.twitter.com/pJVGwU2bkS
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Jrue Holiday is the first player over the last 25 postseasons to record a block and a steal inside the final 10 seconds of the 4th quarter of a playoff game. pic.twitter.com/D9Mpu5jr9C
The Bucks now hold a 3-2 series lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals matchup.
While the Greek Freak was good for 40 points and 11 rebounds, it was Holiday—who added 24 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for good measure—who literally stole this one for the Bucks.
While Holiday was feeling the love, Defensive Player of the Year Smart found himself as the victim of two brilliant defensive plays.
And no, Twitter wasn’t kind:
Tom Fornell @TomFornelli
Marcus Smart pic.twitter.com/LBR12Fxwbx
This was a brutal loss for a Celtics team that seemed poised to take the advantage in this series. Jayson Tatum (34 points) and Jaylen Brown (26 points) were excellent. The Celtics led by as many as 14 points in the fourth quarter. This was theirs for the taking.
Instead, the series shifts back to Milwaukee on Friday, with the defending champions one game away from the Eastern Conference Finals, thanks to Holiday.