But even in a spotty effort, Butler showed flashes of what he can give this Thunder team.
Just a few minutes after entering, OKC called for an isolation on the left block. Butler turned, faced up and knocked down a smooth 15-footer.
At the start of the second quarter, he showed what he can do on the other end.
Less than a minute after swatting Eric Maynor on a layup attempt, Butler raced back and picked off a Sixers pass, logging his first block and steal in OKC.
And in the second half, he ran a pair of pretty pick and rolls with Nick Collison, one leading to an assist and the other leading to two free throws.
“He went out there and played basketball the right way,” Brooks said. “If he had a shot, he took it, if he had a pass, he passed it. And we have to continue to add that mentality to our team.”
In all, Butler categorized it as a special night.
He was upbeat throughout the game, smiling after big plays, chatting with his new teammates, instructing Jeremy Lamb during timeouts and enjoying a pair of Hasheem Thabeet buckets.
“I had a good time, as long as we win, I’m good,” Butler said. “I hadn’t won in a month, so that felt good to get that win.”
Quite a difference from Milwaukee.
Highlights from NBA TV