PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Josh Richardson scored 32 points and the Philadelphia 76ers led from start to finish in a 113-86 victory over Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat on Saturday night.
Joel Embiid added 23 points and 11 rebounds for the 76ers (11-5), who won their fourth straight overall while improving to 7-0 at home.
Butler struggled to 11 points, missing nine of 13 field goal attempts in his return to Philadelphia. He sat out the entire fourth quarter.
Tyler Herro had 20 points to pace the Heat (11-4), who had won five in a row.
Butler played 55 regular-season games for the Sixers last season, averaging 18.2 points after being acquired in a trade with Minnesota last November. He helped Philadelphia beat Miami in the first round of the playoffs before the 76ers were eliminated in the second round by Toronto.
He left Philadelphia in the offseason, inking a four-year, $142 million deal with the Heat in a sign-and-trade that brought Richardson to Philadelphia. Richardson, who played his first four seasons in Miami and averaged 16.6 points last season, made 11 of 15 shots and went 6 of 7 on 3-pointers. He missed the previous two games with a hip injury.
Butler couldn’t buy a basket — and the notoriously tough Philly fans relished every moment. They booed him loudly during introductions and every time he touched the ball in the first half.
They also cheered whenever he missed — and that was quite often.
Butler shot 2 of 8 in the first quarter, the Heat failed to connect on 17 of 22 tries and Philadelphia was up 28-13. The pattern continued as the 76ers took a 55-35 halftime lead thanks to Miami’s 12-for-40 shooting in the first half, including 1 for 12 from behind the arc.
Philadelphia’s lead grew to 41 in the second half.
Although Butler was embraced by the fan base during his stint in Philadelphia, everything wasn’t rosy.
He got heated during a film session last season with 76ers coach Brett Brown about the way he was being used in Brown’s offense, and there seems to be some lingering hard feelings.
Brown was terse in his comments about Butler prior to Saturday’s game.
“He had some great games for us,” Brown said. “We came close at the end. Sometimes things don’t work out. He’s in a good place.”
Brown said he hasn’t been in contact with Butler and answered a follow-up question about the Heat star by saying, “I look forward to talking about the Miami Heat.”
Butler has adjusted with Miami quite well, averaging 19.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and seven assists entering Saturday.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra spoke highly of Butler before the game.
“I like it,” he said about coaching Butler. “We speak the same language.”
Heat: Miami was playing the second game of a back-to-back after winning 116-108 at Chicago on Friday night. … Finished 6 for 24 from 3-point range.
76ers: It was the first of four matchups between the teams this season. They’ll next play Dec. 18 in Philadelphia.
Heat: Host the Charlotte Hornets on Monday.
76ers: At the Toronto Raptors on Monday.
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