76ers’ Jimmy Butler on fight vs. Nets: ‘I’m just there to protect’ Joel Embiid

Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid

“If somebody runs up on him, I will push them again,” Butler said of protecting Embiid after Saturday’s scuffle.

Jimmy Butler explained after a fight broke out between the 76ers and Nets in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series that he was just trying to protect teammate Joel Embiid.

The scuffle happened after Embiid was given a flagrant foul for knocking Jarrett Allen to the floor. Nets’ Jared Dudley then shoved Embiid and Butler responded by pushing Dudley. The fight spilled over into the stands and the players had to be held back. Butler and Dudley were both called for technical fouls and ejected from the game.

“I am just there to protect my big fella,” Butler said, per philly.com. “If somebody runs up on him, I will push them again.”

Embiid explained that he would cover Butler’s fine because his teammate had his back.

“It was great to see that you play with guys that care about you, that have your back and I don’t have to do anything else but go back and have their back too and that’s by dominating and trying to get us a win,” Embiid said.

Butler also explained he and Embiid knew a scuffle was going to break out after Embiid was called for a foul.

“We definitely thought it was coming. I don’t be paying attention to him too much. I just don’t think you should run up on anybody like that,” Butler said. “It wasn’t a flagrant, for sure … We got a dub, that’s all I’m worried about.”

Despite the ejections, the Sixers ended up winning Saturday’s game, 112-108. Philadelphia now leads the series 3-1 and will face Brooklyn at home in Game 5 on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.

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