Butler Helps Fuel Third Straight Victory
Make that three in a row for the 76ers (44-25), which topped the Sacramento Kings (33-35) Friday at home, 123-114.
It was Jimmy Butler who heated up early and stayed hot late, leading the team to a balanced victory.
Butler posted a game-best 22 points, to go with six rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and a block. He finished with a plus-20 rating as well.
“I thought it was one of his best games,” Brett Brown said of Butler. “We will not be as good as we can be without him playing like he plays, and like he played tonight.”
Scoring 14 points in the first half, Butler also delivered in crunch time, hitting the team’s final jumper with 50 seconds that put Sacramento away for good.
“He’s just incredibly gifted,” Brown added. “We need him. That’s the bottom line.”
Joel Embiid had a resounding 21-point, 17-rebound double-double, with three assists and four blocks.
Tobias Harris was once again productive across the stat sheet, registering 19 points, seven rebounds, four assists, a steal, and a block.
“I thought this was a great game where you saw the energy fuel our offense,” Harris said. “The talent level that’s around me has made the game easier for me.”
Ben Simmons scored 18 points and dished out five assists, while JJ Redick added 19 points and four assists.
“I think tonight we played well as a team,” Simmons said.
Boban Marjanovic collected 12 points and grabbed seven boards off the bench.
“He is skilled,” Brown said of Marjanovic. “He’s been a sensational pickup, and he’s a great teammate.”
While the Kings got within three points midway through the fourth quarter, they never quite caught up. The Sixers limited themselves to ten turnovers, and shared 28 assists on their 46 made shots.
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Mr. Buckets, at your service.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) March 16, 2019
The Sixers will travel to Milwaukee for a Sunday matinee against the Bucks (51-17). The Bucks lead the Eastern Conference, holding the best record in the league. Giannis Antetokounmpo has put together a season of career highs, averaging 27.0 points, 12.6 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game. In his first season as an All-Star, Khris Middleton is averaging 17.5 points and 6.0 boards per game. The first time the Sixers and Bucks met this season was on Oct. 24, when the Bucks came out on top, 123-108.