Little is expected of the Philadelphia 76ers this season, but they offered their fans a bit of sunshine in the season opener Wednesday night.
Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes each scored five points in a game-ending 15-3 flurry, and the Sixers rallied from an eight-point, fourth-quarter deficit to shock the two-time defending champion Miami Heat 114-110.
"To go get a win like this," first-year Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said of his players, "justifies the work they've put in."
Philadelphia, which had lost 15 straight to Miami, trailed 107-99 with 4:55 left. However, the Sixers held Miami (1-1) to 1-for-13 shooting thereafter, with the only basket coming on Ray Allen's follow shot with 9.6 seconds left.
The 76ers still trailed by four with 2:36 left. Hawes, who finished with 24 points, nailed a 3-pointer, then tacked on a layup to put Philadelphia ahead to stay with 2:05 remaining, 109-108.
"Any time down the stretch, you want to be the guy going to the ball, not going away from it," Hawes said.
The 7-foot center is quite comfortable gunning from the arc, having made 35.6 percent of his 3-pointers last season.
"Fans love 3s," he said with a smile. "Chicks dig the long balls."
Turner, who like Hawes is one of the Sixers' few veterans, said he too believes it is now his responsibility to step up in the clutch.
"My teammates look for me to do so -- stay assertive and help my team out," he said after leading Philadelphia with 26 points.
Philadelphia rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams had 22 points, 12 assists, nine steals and seven rebounds. His steals total was a record for a player making his NBA debut. Carter-Williams, who made the clinching free throws with 8.5 seconds left, turned the ball over just once.
LeBron James generated 25 points and 13 assists for Miami. Chris Bosh had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Allen added 19 points. The Heat, who beat the Chicago Bulls in their season opener Tuesday night, were without star guard Dwyane Wade, who rested a sore knee.
"You generally get what you deserve in this league," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said, "and we earned that loss tonight."
The Sixers scored the game's first 19 points and held a 26-4 lead after 6:11 had elapsed. Philadelphia made its first 11 shots of the game -- three each by Turner and Hawes -- while Miami missed its first seven.
A 3-pointer by backup guard Tony Wroten gave Philadelphia its 26-4 advantage, and after a quarter the Sixers held a 33-14 advantage.
However, Bosh scored eight of his points in the second quarter, allowing the Heat to creep to within 51-49 at halftime.
Miami took a 60-59 lead on a basket by Udonis Haslem with 8:33 left in the third period, a quarter in which the Heat made 10 3-pointers. Allen had the last four of those, all coming in the last 2:05, which were capped by a 48-foot buzzer-beater that gave Miami a 94-85 lead.
The Heat fended off the Sixers throughout the early stages of the fourth quarter, extending a three-point lead to 107-99 courtesy of a 7-2 surge capped by a James' dunk.
NOTES: The Sixers scored more than 110 points just once last season. Their Wednesday point total was their highest in a season opener since a 124-point output against Chicago in 1990. ... Wade is expected to play Friday when Miami visits the Brooklyn Nets. "It's not going to be consistent, necessarily, all year that he won't play back-to-backs," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "It's just been a long week. He's a little bit sore -- nothing dramatic or of great concern." ... Carter-Williams became the first Sixer to record a double-double in his NBA debut since Maurice Cheeks in 1978. His 22 points were the most by a Sixer in his first game since Allen Iverson had 30 against Milwaukee in 1996. ... Brown, a former San Antonio assistant, said he watched the Heat raise their championship banner on TV Tuesday night -- a title won at the Spurs' expense last spring -- and was again unnerved. "It surprised me how hard it really was (to watch)," he said. "It's a hard thing to live through again. Full credit to them. That's sport. They got it done, but to dismiss it and think it doesn't sort of hang around you -- and always will -- would be a lie." ... Sixers greats Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Moses Malone and Bobby Jones were among those honoring equipment manager Jeff Millman, a fixture with the franchise for 50 years. The team's locker room was also named in Millman's honor.