MIAMI – Jimmy Butler made the second of two free throws with 2.3 seconds left in overtime, giving the Miami Heat a wild 117-116 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.
Butler finished with 25 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for Miami, which improved the NBA’s best home record to 15-1 and moved back into second place in the Eastern Conference. He was fouled by Al Horford as he tried a jumper for the lead, missed the first foul shot and then connected on the second.
Tobias Harris had a good look at a 3-pointer as time expired, but his shot from the right corner hit the rim and bounced away.
Miami got a one-point win for the second straight night, after topping Indiana at home Friday. Philadelphia lost by one for the second straight night, after falling at Orlando on Friday — the first time the 76ers have lost consecutive games by a single point since Jan. 25 and 27, 1995.
Joel Embiid had 35 points and 11 rebounds for Philadelphia, which has lost 10 of its last 14 on the road. Former Heat guard Josh Richardson had 17 points in his first time in Miami as an opponent, and Ben Simmons had 15 points and 11 assists.
Goran Dragic scored 19, while Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson each had 16 for Miami.
The end of regulation was wild, with Philadelphia twice holding five-point leads in the final 1:47 and not being able to finish the game off — then Miami missing a box out that would have won the game in the last second.
With Miami down by two, Butler punched the ball away from Embiid with 12 seconds left in regulation. It went to Herro, who made a 3-pointer with 6.9 ticks remaining to put Miami up one. Another free throw pushed the lead to two, when Richardson went to the line to tie the game.
He missed the first, intentionally missed the second and Simmons swooped in to grab the rebound and score in one motion — and to overtime they went.
Philadelphia’s lead was 59-54 after a back-and-forth first half. Miami jumped out to a 24-16 lead, before Philadelphia outscored the Heat 23-7 over the next six minutes to take an eight-point lead of its own. The Heat rallied to reclaim the lead late in the half — and then the 76ers answered with a 10-2 spurt to go back on top.
But the third quarter was particularly good for Miami.
The Heat outscored Philadelphia 31-20, the first time this season that Miami won that period by double digits against anybody, so they took an 85-79 lead into the final 12 minutes.
76ers: Philadelphia coach Brett Brown used his challenge with 1:53 left in the first half, arguing that Simmons did not commit what would have been his third foul against Bam Adebayo. He was correct. ... Embiid took off his sweaty jersey for a fresh one at the scorer’s table before checking back in with 3:41 remaining in regulation.
Heat: Butler was 1 for 6 in the first half, his only make coming with 1:10 left before intermission. ... Robinson started 6 for 6, including four makes from 3-point range, but committed his fifth foul with 5:16 left in the third. ... Miami has reached 100 points in all 16 games at home this season, tying the second-longest such single-season streak in team history. The Heat had 23 consecutive home games of 100 or more points from Dec. 7, 1991 to March 13, 1992.
Richardson and Adebayo remain extremely close friends and seemed to enjoy getting playfully rough with one another in this one. Richardson made a 3-pointer in the second quarter while getting fouled by Adebayo, then gave his former teammate a friendly swat on the backside before finishing off the four-point play. So in the third quarter, when Richardson fouled Adebayo to save what likely would have been a dunk, the Heat center had a few good-natured words and animated points toward him.
Philadelphia scored 16 points in the game’s first 8:55. It scored 17 points in the next 3:02, quickly turning an early eight-point deficit into a five-point lead after the opening quarter.
76ers: Visit Indiana on Tuesday.
Heat: Visit Washington on Monday.