Published by Staff Writers, 18th November 2018 on foxsports.com.au
That’s why he’s here.
Jimmy Butler drilled a step back three over Dwayne Bacon with 0.3 seconds remaining to finally put the Charlotte Hornets away 122-119 in overtime.
The game-winner followed an outrageous defensive play from Butler, who blocked a Kemba Walker layup, before flying out of bounds to save the ball to Wilson Chandler; handing the Philadelphia 76ers the final possession of the game.
It was one of the only times the Sixers were able to stop Walker on the day, who went 21-for-34 from the field for an NBA season-high 60 points.
Butler missed the go-ahead bucked to end regulation time, and had just 12 points before hitting the eventual game-winner, but big-time players make big-time plays.
“I love the fact that my coaches and my teammates had confidence in me to iso [isolation] and make another basket,” Butler said post-game.
“J.J. [Redick] walked on and said, ‘I bet you won’t call game on this one.’ I had to listen to him. I’m confident in the shots that I take, but that one; I’m glad that I made it.”
Ben Simmons, on the second night of a back-to-back, was the dominant player we know he can be; putting together a near triple-double in a game that again reminded us — if we needed reminding — of how just unique he is on a basketball court.
The Aussie had 23 points, eleven rebounds, nine assists, and was 9-for-11 from the free throw line in one of, if not his best, performance of the season.
Joel Embiid topscored for Philly with 33 points and 11 rebounds, while Redick added 23 of his own.
Of course, though, it’s never easy with the Sixers.
After running out to a 17-point lead in the first half — thanks in large to a 42-point first quarter — they slowed down, and let the Hornets back into the game.
And despite taking a 10-point lead with just under four minutes remaining, Philly again opened the door for the Walker-led Hornets to stumble back into it.
Redick hit some big shots in overtime, before Butler made magic happen from beyond the arc to ruin Walker’s big day and help the Sixers improve to 11-7 on the season.
“He’s hard to guard, he’s really unique,” Brett Brown said of Walker.
“He can create contact contact and initiate that sort of physical play to generate free throws and get his shot off.
“60 points in an NBA game against a pretty good defensive team — that’s a remarkable effort.”