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If it wasn’t clear before, we now definitely know why the Philadelphia 76ers acquired Jimmy Butler.
Faced with a tie game at the end of overtime between the Sixers and the Charlotte Hornets and Kemba Walker on the best night of his career, Butler didn’t blink.
Rather, Butler threw down an incredible block on a driving Walker to prevent the Hornets from taking the lead, then iced a 3-pointer in the final seconds to give the Sixers one of their most thrilling wins of the season.
Jimmy Butler saves the 76ers in OT
Funnily enough, Butler hadn’t even been having a great game until the final two possessions of the game. He had only posted 12 points of 3-of-10 shooting with four assists, three rebounds and four turnovers. But that might just be the Jimmy Butler experience: aggression on both ends of the floor on even the worst of nights.
The game-winner also reversed an unfortunate trend for the Sixers star:
In three games played with Butler, the 76ers are now 2-1 with Butler doing nearly everything that could be expected of him since coming over in the Timberwolves trade. We all know that Butler himself seems to be enjoying the ride.
Jimmy Butler has some fun after the game
After the game, Butler chalked up his game-winner to two things: the confidence that his new team has in him and a desire to prove JJ Redick wrong.
“I love the fact that my coaches and teammates had confidence in me to iso and make another basket. I can’t thank them enough for that one,” Butler said. “JJ 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 I take, but that one, I’m glad I made it.”
Kemba Walker’s incredible night
The final 30 seconds of the game caused Walker’s performance to end on a very sour note, but they shouldn’t obscure an all-time great performance from the Hornets All-Star.
Walker finished with 60 points on 21-of-34 shooting with seven rebounds, four assists and four steals, outscoring the rest of his teammates on half the shots. All told, it was a stat line that gives him a special place in Hornets history.
Per ESPN Stats & Info, Walker is the first player in Hornets history to post a 60-point game. He also joins Allen Iverson as the only players 6-foot-1 or shorter in NBA history to hit the 60-point mark.
Walker even hit the Sixers with a Michael Jordan shrug after he banked in a 3-pointer to give the Hornets late in the fourth quarter.
Though it ended in heartbreak, there shouldn’t be anyone in Charlotte who isn’t thankful for Kemba Walker. Butler made sure to pay his respects to Walker during his postgame interview.
“I will say, Kemba gave me 60 tonight. I will have to say that one,” Walker said.
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