Brown hails 'stud' Butler after 76ers level series
Brett Brown said Jimmy Butler was the "adult in the gym" as he heaped praise on the Philadelphia 76ers star's performance against the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
Butler led the way with 30 points and 11 rebounds in Toronto, where the 76ers upstaged the Raptors 94-89 to level the second-round NBA playoff series on Monday.
The four-time All-Star managed just 10 points in Game 1 but he bounced back with a double-double, which included 12 points in the final quarter.
And 76ers head coach Brown hailed Butler post-game, telling reporters: "This was James Butler. That was the adult in the gym.
"He was just a tremendous rock. He willed us to a lot of different situations. He was a great team-mate on the bench. He was a stud."
THE DISH. THE SWISH. pic.twitter.com/AZdYjiIPua— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) April 30, 2019
In reply to Brown's compliment, Butler said: "My name isn't James. It literally is Jimmy."
The 76ers stormed out of the blocks in Game 2, outscoring the Raptors 26-17 in the opening period en route to Philadelphia's first win in Toronto since November 2012.
It snapped a 14-game losing streak and Butler added: "Everybody wants to paint the picture that we haven't won here in however many years. I'm just glad that we came out on top. We don't care how many games we've lost, nothing like that."
Brown also praised Ben Simmons, despite his relatively quiet night in terms of stats against the Raptors.
Simmons tallied just six points, seven rebounds and five assists in a game-high 44 minutes but the All-Star was influential on both ends of the floor.
"I thought our defence at the start of the game was almost as good as it could be," Brown said. "I think Ben did a really good job on [Kawhi Leonard].
"We tried to have different looks at times, where we'd double him; we didn't. By and large, it was Ben's assignment, although other people inherited him... I thought Ben did a good job, then you look down and see he has 35. He's just an incredibly gifted, versatile scorer."
Joel Embiid, who has been battling a knee issue throughout the postseason, struggled with a stomach illness having missed the morning shootaround in Toronto.
But Embiid played through, scoring 12 points in 32 minutes to help the 76ers stop Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors.
"There's no way I was missing this game," he said. "This game was really important to us. It doesn't matter what I had, I was going to play."