Heath beat the 76ers 99-90 in Game 6 to reach the Eastern Final Up-sport

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Jimmy Butler knocked Joel Embiid out of the playoffs, then walked over to his former 76ers teammate and hugged him, telling him he loved him and was proud of him.

Butler then emerged victorious from the familiar court – and immediately to the next final of the conference with Miami.

“I’m where I belong now,” Butler said. “Guess where I should have been a long time ago.”

Butler scored 32 points and sent Miami to the Eastern Conference final with a win over Philadelphia on Thursday night in Game 6 of 99-90 and waved “goodbye” to Philly’s crowd.

Heath will play with the winner of the Milwaukee-Boston series. The reigning champion Bucks leads the series 3-2, in Game 6 on Friday night in Milwaukee.

The Heat reached the conference finals for the second time in three seasons, again with Butler leading the way. Philly’s fans – and many in the 76ers – still can’t believe the franchise allowed Butler to leave after the 2019 season. He didn’t fiddle and scored 14 points while shooting 6 out of 9 in the third quarter when the Heath used a 16-2 series to take control. Butler scored 33 points in Game 3 and 40 in Game 4 and made 29 shots in Game 6.

“I think he’s one of the best competitors in the profession,” said coach Eric Spoelstra. “He was brilliant throughout the series. The challenges here are only intensifying. He saw that there was an opportunity to finish it tonight, and he wasn’t going to let it get to seven. “

Embid, the NBA bombing champion, had no significant help and scored 20 points with 12 rebounds with 7 out of 24 shots.

“I know I tried. I think for the most part we tried, ”Embid said. “It wasn’t good enough.”

Ambid was still confused and hurt by the fact that the Sixers joined Butler after forming a trio with Ben Simmons, which – with the exception of the ego – could fight for the championship for years.

“I still don’t know how we let him go,” Embid said. “I wish I could still go into battle with him.”

Having won by 35 points in the 5th game, the “Hit” demolished the defeated team “Sixers”. Embid looked pensive as he amicably tried to carry the Sixers. He had a small elevator, and Bam Adebayo blocked the jumper from pulling up in the third.

The Sixers parted ways with Butler in large part because they chose Simmons as their ball operator. Simmons was unhappy and forced to exchange this season in Brooklyn for James Harden. Harden, a three-time champion, had to lift the load with Embid for a powerful post-season push. Harden instead almost disappeared into the playoffs. He spent a fantastic 4th game at home against Miami, but otherwise was a turnaround machine. When he lost another ball that led to Bucket Heath and led 80-63 in the fourth, the Sixers were cleared off the court.

Harden scored all of his 11 points in the first half. He had four turns and four baskets. Harden, who has a player option of $ 47.4 million for 2022-2023, missed both shots in the second half and scored his last basket at 3:31 in the second quarter.

Few in the Branch would have given Beard a pass mark. Harden said he would be back next season.

“I’m sure everyone has been waiting for Houston James Harden since we got him,” Embid said. “But he’s not the one anymore.”

Coach Doc Rivers called on his team to “fight for it!” at a party during the fourth. The 76ers just fell.

“At the end of this game, I came to the conclusion that we are not good enough to beat Miami,” Rivers said.

Rivers signed through the 2024-25 season and another early exit – the 76ers were seeded No. 1 last year and lost in the second round – and his working status is a hot topic for discussion.

“I am not worried about my work. I think I’m doing a great job. If you don’t, then you have to write this, ”Rivers said.“ Because I worked hard to bring this team here. When I first came here, no one chose us to be anywhere. Again this year the same. If anyone feels that way, write this. I will feel safe about it. “

Max Strus scored 20 points and 11 rebounds in the “Hit”. Even another bad night from the 3-point range – Miami missed 21 of 28 attempts – didn’t matter.

Embid has again gutted the post-season game in the mask (fracture of the right orbit) and will do surgery to rupture the ligaments of the thumb of the right hand. He was only allowed to return last week after a concussion. He held on to the back of his head after knocking her to the court after falling at the end of the second quarter. In the first half, Embid still played 22 minutes and scored 14 points.

“Joel, my boyfriend. My brother. Who would I choose for the MVP, ”Butler said. “It’s good to beat him. I’m not going to lie to you. I really love this city. Lots of love for the guys in that locker room. So every time you beat a former team, it’s special. ”

Embid missed the first two games of the series when he recovered from a concussion. The Sixers lost both games in Miami. Could a healthy Embid change anything? Maybe not, but it’s still a sudden end to the All-Star Game that hasn’t yet tried the conference final. Perhaps he would have played one or two if Butler had been stuck.

“At some point you have to stop looking at coaches and the front office,” Embid said. “You have to look at the players. Maybe we’re just not good enough.”

Embid is still looking at who left him in Miami. Wearing black sunglasses and a black cap, Butler said the NBA was a business.

“It didn’t work out,” Butler said. “I do not complain. I like being in Miami. ”

Coaching room

Heat: Kyle Lowry sat down again due to an injury to his left hamstring. He walked the Heat side line as a coach, and encouraged his teammates during free throws and other breaks in action to discuss strategy.

76ers: Danny Green came out in the first quarter with a serious left knee injury. Embid climbed over the bucket and crashed into Green as they collapsed in court. Green, who averaged 5.9 points this season, grabbed him by the leg and was taken off the court.


Heat: 7-1 at the end of the 6th game since 2006. … Won the 30th playoff series of his career.

76ers: Have not advanced to the second round since 2001.

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