Jimmy Butler said he felt like Luka Doncic as he racked up a season-high 38 points in the Miami Heat’s trouncing of his former team the Philadelphia 76ers.
Butler shook off the notion that a game against his former team should carry extra significance. The win was all that mattered.
He scored a season-high 38 points before getting the fourth quarter off, and the Heat scored a franchise-record 81 points in the second half to beat the 76ers 137-106 on Monday night.
"I felt great, I felt like Luka (Doncic) out there. You know that's what he has been doing and it's really impressive. More than anything, I am super-happy that we got the 'W'. I'm never worried about offense. 'Hell, I'm never worried about defense. I'm only worried about winning."
Goran Dragic scored 24 points for Miami, Duncan Robinson scored 19 and All-Star Bam Adebayo finished with 18 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds for the Heat. Derrick Jones Jr added 15 points for Miami, which set season-highs for points and victory margin.
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Asked by NBA TV's Dennis Scott about being selected, along with Adebayo, for the All-Star Game in Chicago on February 16, Butler said: "I'm excited about but I am really happy for Bam. He deserves it, as hard as he works. I think the whole team, this whole organisation has trusted him with the ball. To do it on both sides of the floor, it is hard to do, but he does it."
Butler was 14-for-20 from the field and 8-for-8 from the foul line. The Heat committed only three turnovers; their previous franchise-low for a game was four, set against Orlando on January 24, 2009.
"We just want to get better as the season goes on and we knew that this game was important just from the standpoint of being able to go up 3-1 against one of the teams we're jostling against in this competitive Eastern Conference," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "It matters."
Butler echoed his coach's words when asked if the Heat, currently fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 34-15 record, could replicate their form after the All-Star break.
"I hope so," he said. "This is the way 'Spo' (coach Spoelstra) wants us to play on the defensive end. We have just got to lock in and do it. We are a great team at home but now we have a road stretch.
"You have got to play even better after the [All-Star] break. Every day after the break it gets more and more important.
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"[My team-mates] know they need to continue to study the game, work on their game and take care of their bodies. We have got a good group."