Justin, Jrue and Aaron Holiday appear in same game, make NBA history

NEW ORLEANS -- With NBA history set to be made that night, the Holiday bunch went to brunch Saturday morning.

Later that night, Justin, Jrue and Aaron Holiday became the first trio of brothers to play in the same game. But before the group dug into their food in the morning, Jrue led the family in prayer.

As he finished, he said, "Go Pelicans."

The sibling rivalry played out on the court Saturday, as Jrue's New Orleans Pelicans defeated Justin and Aaron's Indiana Pacers 120-98.

According to research by the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time three brothers played in the same NBA game. It became official when Justin checked in at the 5:13 mark of the first quarter. Jrue and Aaron each started the game.

Prior to the game, the three shared a moment on the court together with Jrue's and Justin's daughters, and following the game, the three brothers shared a jersey swap.

"It was cool. I beat them and I got their jerseys, so I'll hang those up," Jrue said. "It was fun. My whole family is here -- family and friends -- so just to be able to share that moment on the court, even from a family standpoint where I'm going back and, I'm not going to brag, but we know what happened. But it's a good feeling for me."

Giannis, Thanasis and Kostas Antetokounmpo had a chance to become the first trio of brothers to appear in an NBA game on Dec. 19, when all three were active for the Bucks' game against the Lakers, but only Giannis saw time on the court.

The Holiday brothers didn't have anything riding on the game, but Jrue joked afterward that he'll take a steak dinner to go along with the bragging rights.

Shawn and Toya Holiday, the brothers' parents, sat courtside opposite the Pelicans' bench. They acted like any set of parents would watching their kids on the court, with Shawn even taking out his phone to record video of Justin guarding Jrue at one point.

"It's a blessing," Shawn Holiday said before the game. "There's no other way to put it. You couldn't write the script any better than this. Them growing up, you couldn't envision this. For it to come true at this stage and this level, it's pretty amazing."

Jrue, 29, entered the NBA in 2009 when he was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers. Justin, 30, made his NBA debut with the 76ers in April 2013 and played briefly with Jrue that season.

The youngest Holiday brother, Aaron, 23, didn't make his debut until 2018, when he was the 23rd overall pick by the Pacers.

The three brothers played against each other last season, but the possibility of all three playing in the same game inched closer to reality this summer, when Justin signed a one-year deal with the Pacers.

Jrue was also able to walk away with all three jerseys in the swap because the brothers played against each other last season.

"We already have that one of his," Justin said, "I don't think he has these two of ours."

The brothers' sister, Lauren, estimated there were roughly 30 family members and friends in attendance in New Orleans on Saturday.

"It don't get no better than this," Shawn Holiday said. "Just to see them enjoy it, that brings joy to us. That's the most joy that we get is watching them. They really enjoy playing with each other and being around each other. It's going to be a lot of fun when they are all on the court."

That part was delayed some due to the substitution patterns of Pacers coach Nate McMillan and Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry.

When Justin entered the game in the first quarter, Jrue checked out, so the family needed to wait until the 4:54 mark of the third quarter for all three to be on the court at the same time.

That was supposed to be Jrue's scheduled time to check out, but he asked Gentry to leave him in so he could be on the court with his brothers.

"I told him I wanted to stay, really, just to have a moment together like that," Jrue said. "The three of us have never been on the court together at the same time because of age difference, really."

The Holiday brothers weren't the only family connection in Saturday's game. McMillan's son Jamelle is an assistant coach on the Pelicans' staff.

There was a message written on the board in the Pelicans' locker room that read, "'I NEED THIS ONE!!!' -- Love Jamelle" in blue marker. It had a check mark through it at the end of the night.

In the game itself, Aaron led the trio with a game-high 25 points. He finished 4-of-6 from 3-point range while his teammates went a combined 2-of-22. Justin played 27 minutes but was held scoreless as he missed all four shot attempts.

Aaron was 2-of-4 when guarded by Jrue, while Jrue went a combined 3-of-8 when guarded by his brothers -- 2-of-3 against little brother Aaron and 1-of-5 against big brother Justin.

Jrue finished with 20 points, seven assists, five rebounds and two steals. He also came away with the most important stat of all: the victory.

"All I really wanted to do was play well, that's it," Jrue said, "but I'm glad I got the win."