Mike Budenholzer on Jrue Holiday’s Clutch Defensive Plays: ‘He’s a Winner’

Giannis Antetokounmpo will take home the headlines for finishing Game 5 with 40 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block to lead Milwaukee to a late 110-107 win over the Boston Celtics.

But when it mattered most, it was Bobby Portis (14 points and 15 rebounds) and Jrue Holiday (24 points, eight boards, eight assists) that delivered the biggest plays of the night to help the Bucks take a 3-2 lead through five games of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

“Obviously, in Boston, you’re down 14 in the fourth quarter, people would say everything’s against us. But we come together,” said Holiday, who also hit the tying 3-pointer with 43 seconds left, per ESPN. “We live and die like that.”

The clutch plays happened with 14.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Bucks came all the way back from 14 down, outscoring the Celtics 33-21 in the final frame, and had a chance to tie the game up at 107-all with their two-time MVP at the free-throw line for two shots. However, Antetokounmpo split his trip to the line, but Portis cleaned up the Greek Freak’s miss and sank a put-back layup to give the Bucks a 108-107.

After Boston called their last full timeout of the night, it was Jrue Holiday’s chance for some late-game heroics.

On the next ATO play, Marcus Smart caught the ball in Boston’s frontcourt, driving through the right baseline to attempt a game-winning layup, but Holiday, perhaps the most underrated two-way point guard in the League today, swopped in for a game-altering block while also having the presence of mind to throw the ball off Smarts body as their momentum carried them out of bonds.

After Pat Connaughton knocked down a pair of free throws in Milwaukee’s next possession, Holiday showed up again to make a big play as Boston attempted to go the 90 feet court for a potential game-winner. But Holiday stopped all that before Smart could even make it to the halfcourt line, taking his cookies just before Smart could stop past the halfcourt line, dribbling out the final seconds to cement Milwaukee’s clutch win.

“Just a great instinctive play by Jrue,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. ”He’s a winner. Jrue Holiday’s a winner. You ask any player in this league or any coach in this league. He’s a winner.

Milwaukee has the chance to close out their series with Boston on Friday in Milwaukee.