December 29, 2019 / 4:28 AM / 22 days ago

Butler helps Heat survive 76ers in OT

Jimmy Butler made the go-ahead free throw with 2.3 seconds remaining in overtime against his former team, as the host Miami Heat recorded a 117-116 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.

Dec 28, 2019; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk (9) warms up before a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

After Ben Simmons converted an alley-oop dunk to forge a tie at 116 with 18.3 seconds left in overtime, Butler was fouled on a jumper on the next possession. Butler misfired on the first attempt before sinking the second, and Tobias Harris failed to convert a 3-point attempt as Miami improved to 6-0 in overtime this season.

Butler finished with 25 points, nine assists and nine rebounds. He was playing in his third game against his former team after inking a four-year, $142 million deal with Miami in a sign-and-trade deal that brought Josh Richardson to Philadelphia.

Goran Dragic had 19 points, and rookie Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson each had 16 for the Heat, who have won a season high-tying five in a row overall and improved to an NBA-best 15-1 at home this season.

Joel Embiid collected 35 points and 11 rebounds for the 76ers, who have dropped the first two contests of their four-game road trip.

Richardson, who played his first four seasons with Miami, chipped in with 17 points, and Simmons added 15 along with 11 rebounds. Harris had 12 points and eight boards while dealing with right hip soreness sustained in Philadelphia’s 98-97 setback to Orlando on Friday.

With Philadelphia nursing a 106-104 lead, Embiid corralled an offensive rebound and appeared content to hold on to the ball with 10 seconds remaining in regulation before Butler punched it out of his hands. Herro calmly sank a 3-pointer in transition to give Miami the lead with 6.9 seconds left.

After he again stole the ball from Embiid, Butler made a free throw to extend the advantage, but Richardson was sent to the free-throw line after being fouled on a last-second shot. Richardson misfired on the first attempt and purposely missed the second, with Simmons cleaning up an offensive rebound to tie the game at 108 with 0.6 seconds remaining.

Embiid started off strong by scoring 10 points as Philadelphia led 33-28 after the first quarter. The lead remained at five points at half (59-54) before the Heat took a 85-79 edge entering the fourth.

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