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Jayson Tatum On Jrue Holiday: ‘I Don’t Know How They Let Us Get Him’

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The Boston Celtics are one game away from their first championship in 16 years after holding on for a Game 3 win in Dallas to go up 3-0.

Jayson Tatum finally broke out of his shooting slump in the first half, leading a Boston charge after trailing by double digits early on, and Jaylen Brown picked up his scoring in the second half to lead a run that put the Celtics in front by as many as 21. Things did get a bit dicey late, as Tatum and Brown seemed to slip into some of their old, bad habits of getting stagnant on offense and going 1-on-1 to try and nurse the big lead. Dallas cut the lead to as few as one, but could never pull back in front, with Luka Doncic fouling out with just over four minutes to play and their offense struggling to maintain its rhythm.

Derrick White and Jrue Holiday played a big role in the Game 3 win once again, with White pouring in four more threes and Holiday seemingly making big plays whenever they need him to on either end of the floor. Holiday had an argument for being their best player through the first two games, and while he scored just nine in Game 3, he continued to be play a critical role in the win.

After the game, Tatum joined the NBA TV desk and Charles Barkley had to ask him about what Holiday has meant to the team, and Tatum, like so many others, still can’t believe they were able to pick him up this summer.

“I don’t know how they let us get him, but I’m so happy we got Jrue on our team and we’re so fortunate,” Tatum said. “He just makes winning plays. He’s obviously been here and won a championship. And more than anything, he just raises everybody else’s level on defense. On a team like we have, you don’t want to be the weakest link on defense. We all take pride in guarding our yard, and it starts with Jrue Holiday and we all just try to match his level.”

At least one other star in the league shares Tatum’s disbelief the Celtics were able to get Holiday, as Joel Embiid posed a question on Twitter during Boston’s third quarter run as to whether Milwaukee handed the Celtics a title by trading Holiday for Damian Lillard — which put Holiday on the market for the Celtics to swoop in and grab. Embiid and the rest of the league might be a bit frustrated with the Bucks for that choice, but Tatum and the Celtics are happy to reap the rewards.