PHILADELPHIA — Nico Batum is more than content to wear the Superman cape just once for the Philadelphia 76ers on their postseason run. His 20 points on 7-12 shooting (6-10 from deep) made him the hero in Philly's 105-104 victory that clinched the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. Batum forecasts that his big night was a shooting star, not a constellation.

“I won't score 20 points per game,” he declared after the Sixers' win.Don't expect that from me. That was one game, okay? That was one game. Maybe next game, I'm gonna take only two, three shots. But I'll do something else and I’ll try to have an impact in the game in my way.”

As he spoke at the podium, Batum pointed right at the box score on the piece of paper in front of him and said he didn’t care about it. His focus is on the final score, making sure the Sixers have more points than their opponent. His ability to do just about anything the 76ers need him to do has made him incredibly valuable. He hit the ground running in Philly, becoming way more than just one of the veterans who came over from the Los Angeles Clippers in the James Harden trade.

Against the Heat, the Sixers needed him to be adaptable and stout on defense and hit shots on offense. Miami's vaunted zone defense successfully dragged Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey down. When Philly couldn’t take advantage, its offense suffered and it fell into a deficit. No other player played a bigger role in dragging the team out of the hole than Batum.

“He was big-time,” Tyrese Maxey said. “We needed somebody to hit some shots in the zone. That was the funky zone. It was extremely hard for myself and Joel to get going just because of the different things they do, how much attention they put on on the both of us. So, Nico hit some big shots.”

It was Batum who made the point of those big shots requiring fearless shooters. He talked to Buddy Hield after the first half, telling the sharpshooter that the two of them needed to let shots fly to take pressure off of Embiid and Maxey. The pep talk paid off exponentially.

Hield only shot 1-3 from deep but remained aggressive on offense in the second half, scoring seven points and dishing five assists. Batum hit five of his six triples in the second half. Maxey gave shoutouts to Hield, Cam Payne and Paul Reed for their contributions but pointed to Batum as “the star of the night.”

Nico Batum's hot shooting saves 76ers in play-in game vs. Heat

Batum's six threes are the most he has hit all season long. Nick Nurse said that he “found some areas to get to and he just kept pulling the trigger.” Hesitancy to shoot killed the Sixers' offense in the first half, allowing the Heat to keep the pressure on and force turnovers. Batum and his fellow role players were rewarded by letting it fly.

While the 76ers wouldn’t have been eliminated with a loss to the Heat, it would make their route to the playoffs much bumpier by requiring another play-in game on Friday before a potential matchup with the Boston Celtics starting on Sunday. Now, the 76ers will face the New York Knicks in the second round after two off days. That lengthy period to rest was not lost on the 35-year-old forward who has given everything he can to the Sixers this season.

“I mean, it was the biggest game,” Batum said. “We knew even if we still lose that game, we still got another chance Friday. I think that was my main motivation. Like, I didn't wanna play Friday. I need those two days. I need those two days in between.”

On top of the triples Batum hit, he prevented one from Tyler Herro that all but sealed the win for the 76ers. He was originally tasked with guarding Jimmy Butler but quickly switched onto Herro when Butler tried to screen him out of the play. Batum stayed all the way home on Herro as he darted around Bam Adebayo's screens trying to get free.

Batum said that the 76ers coaching staff tipped the team off to that play, which the Heat use to get shooters like Herro open. “That's exactly the play they showed me a minute before, so I was expecting it,” he said.

The versatility Nico Batum showed in the win over the Heat underscored his immense importance to the 76ers. While each performance looks different on a game-to-game basis, he always has the chance to be a spark in a victory. There’s not a sliver of doubt anymore about whether No. 40 deserves to play in the fourth quarter.