Sixers pull off the unthinkable in their season opener
Michael Carter-Williams celebrates during the Sixers' 114-110 season-opening win over the Heat. (USA Today Images)
That’s what you call a start.
The Sixers got off on a 19-0 run to start the game and executed in the fourth quarter to shock the defending champion Miami Heat, 114-110, in Wednesday’s season opener at the Wells Fargo Center.
The win gave Brett Brown his first victory as an NBA head coach.
Evan Turner led the Sixers in scoring with 26, points including two seal-the-deal free throws with 19.1 seconds to play.
However, rookie Michael Carter-Williams was the difference. The point guard scored 22 points, handed out 12 assists, grabbed seven rebounds and had nine steals.
The Sixers took a one-point lead with two minutes to play in the game, when James Anderson made a steal and quickly got the ball up to Carter-Williams, who calmly handed it off to Spencer Hawes for a layup.
That basket gave the Sixers their first lead since the 8:33 mark of the third quarter.
Follow the leader
The Sixers were carried in scoring by their veteran leaders. Turner (26 points), Hawes (24) and Thaddeus Young (10) combined for 60 points.
Also, Brown’s young and inexperienced bench proved solid on this night. The Sixers got 24 points from their reserves, including 14 from Tony Wroten on 6-for-9 shooting.
LeBron James led the Heat with 25 points and 13 assists. Chris Bosh scored 22 points. Dwyane Wade did not play, sitting out for rest.
The Sixers made sure to take advantage of easy opportunities. They had 50 points in the paint and 26 off the fast break.
The Sixers shot 53.8 percent from the floor and 38.1 from three-point range.
Take a bow
Carter-Williams became the first player in his NBA debut to collect nine steals. He finished just shy of a triple-double, which has never been done in a player’s first career game.
The Sixers play their first road game of the season on Friday against the Wizards.
John Wall is healthy and the Wizards’ front office made a number of offseason moves that has bolstered the team around the point guard, who signed an $80 million contract extension this past summer.