After taking down the No. 1-seeded Philadelphia 76ers with a 106-94 win Thursday, Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler said this was a sign of things to come in the postseason.
"I like our chances against anybody, honestly," he told TNT after the game. "Nobody intimidates us. … I think it's gonna be difficult to beat us four times."
With the win, the 39-31 Heat held on to the fifth seed. The 76ers (47-23) remained in first but are now just one game ahead of the Brooklyn Nets (46-24).
Butler, who was questionable pregame because of an eye injury, scored 21 points, and Bam Adebayo added 18 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. There were four other Heat players who reached double digits: Tyler Herro (18), Goran Dragic (15), Kendrick Nunn (13) and Trevor Ariza (10).
Even Udonis Haslem got in on the fun, making his first appearance of the season before he got ejected in under three minutes after earning two technical fouls for going at it with Dwight Howard.
The Heat shut down a Philadelphia team that could have clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a victory. Tobias Harris scored 21 points, with Shake Milton posting 12 points as the second-leading scorer for the 76ers. Joel Embiid was limited to six points, and Ben Simmons had eight.
"I just didn't think we were ready to play the game tonight," 76ers coach Doc Rivers said. "You could see it early. Everything hurt us; their man hurt us, their zone hurt us, our defense hurt us. … They got everything they wanted, moved faster, ran harder. South Beach is very tough."
As it stands, the Heat will face the fourth-seeded Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the postseason. They'll wrap up the year on the road against the East's current No. 3 seed in the Milwaukee Bucks, followed by a trip to face the Detroit Pistons.
The 76ers will finish the season against the Orlando Magic on Friday and Sunday.