Seemingly every game the Philadelphia 76ers have played since acquiring Jimmy Butler has gone down to the wire. While Butler and his new teammates figure out how to play together, they’re finding themselves in some serious battles, but to this point they’ve come out on top in five of seven games since acquiring the star guard.
Butler had his first signature moment as a member of the Sixers against the Hornets in Charlotte, after he blocked Kemba Walker, saved the ball from going out of bounds, and then hit a stepback three right before the buzzer to give Philadelphia the win despite Walker dropping 60 points.
On Sunday, Butler had an almost identical play in Brooklyn as he took the inbound with the Sixers down one with under 10 seconds to play. Butler slowly dribbled in on Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, working his way to the right wing, where he stepped back behind the three-point line and buried the shot with 0.4 seconds remaining on the clock.
Brooklyn was unable to get the ball into play to even attempt a game-winning shot, as they fall to 8-13 on the season and, incredibly, 3-8 in games where the score is within five points in the final two minutes of play. The Sixers, meanwhile, move to 8-3 in such games — the best record in the NBA in clutch games — and 14-8 overall for the season.
Right now, it’s not as though everything’s going great for the Sixers as they’ve struggled defensively, particularly against point guards, but they’re managing to pick up wins until they can figure out some of those issues, which is huge.