PHILADELPHIA, October 28 – Miami's Big Three won their first game as the trio combined for 61 points as the Heat spoiled Philadelphia's home opener with a 97-87 win Wednesday.Dwyane Wade scored a game-high 30 points while LeBron James (16) and Chris Bosh (15) also did their part for the Heat who rebounded from an opening night loss to the Boston Celtics.
"We’re not at our peak, we’re not even close," Wade said. "Eventually when it’s time to be there, we will."
Wade made of 10-of-20 from the floor and went 9-of-12 from the free throw line. Wade also had seven rebounds and dished out four assists.
"He was letting the game come to him," said Miami head coach Eric Spoelstra. "He is a feel type player and I think he felt a lot more comfortable tonight and was able to get to the rim."
James Jones buried six three pointers for the Heat who hit three straight three-pointers in the third quarter to bust open an eight-point halftime lead.
The Heat tried but couldn’t run away with it as the Sixers went on a 15-3 run late in the fourth to make it close.
The Heat shot 50 percent from three-point range. It was sufficient enough to make up for mediocre shooting nights from James and Bosh (combined 11 for 24).
"When we have our long ball going like that, it’s unlimited what
we can do offensively," said James who had nine turnovers.
Miami may not have been able to the Celtics but James’ former team did it.
Playing its first game in seven years without James, the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated Boston 95-87 in their season opener.
J.J. Hickson scored 21 points, Daniel Gibson added 16 and the Cavaliers made several big, clutch plays to hold off the Celtics, who defeated James and Miami on Tuesday.
"This was for the city," forward Antawn Jamison said. "It was for the fans to let them know the Cavs will survive and this is a place where you can still watch good basketball. And most of all, you can watch a team that wins."
Rajon Rondo scored 18, Ray Allen 12 and Kevin Garnett had 15 rebounds for Boston, which led by 11 points in the third quarter.
In Denver, Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points, Arron Afflalo added 22 and the Denver Nuggets opened the season with a 110-88 win over the Utah Jazz in coach George Karl’s return to the bench.
Chauncey Billups had 14 points and eight assists, while Shelden Williams grabbed 16 rebounds.
Deron Williams had 17 points for the Jazz, who finished 8-0 in the preseason for the first time in franchise history.
Anthony, the subject of trade rumors all summer, and Karl received the loudest ovations in pregame introductions.
Karl missed the final two months of last season after being
diagnosed with throat and neck cancer.