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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sixers Recap: They Did WHAT!??!

By: Steve Zoladek
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That's right, ladies and gentleman! Your own Philadelphia 76ers (1-0) knocked off the defending champion Miami Heat (1-1) by a score of 114-110 Wednesday night.  It was their first win against the Miami Heat in their last 16 regular season game.  DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES!

Michael Carter-Williams scored the first points of the Sixers season by intercepting a bad pass and taking it to the other end for a slam dunk.  That would be just the beginning.  The Sixers jumped out to a surprising 19-0 lead on the Heat, and then extended their lead to 26-4.  They ended the quarter with a 33-14 lead, which I thought was going to be the high-point of the season.

The Heat stopped messing around in the second quarter, closing the gap to just two by halftime.  At the half, LeBron led the Heat with 13 points, five rebounds, and three assists.  For the Sixers, MCW and Evan Turner both had 11 points at halftime, while Tony Wroten scored 10 off the bench.

The Sixers did their best to stay with the Heat in the third quarter, but were unable to withstand the three-point barrage and gave up 45 points in the quarter. The Heat hit 10 of their 16 threes in the third alone.  Ray Allen hit four of those, one of which was from beyond half-court as time expired. At the end of three, they trailed 94-85.

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
The Sixers fell behind early in the fourth but never gave up.  They closed the gap to 107-104 after an Evan Turner and-one and a James Anderson layup.  Spencer Hawes then scored five consecutive points, including a three-pointer, to put the Sixers up 109-108, a lead that they never relinquished.  With some timely free-throw shooting and some late misses from Ray Allen and LeBron James, the Sixers were able to wrap this one up.

This game has to be an eye-opening experience for Miami.  It shows them just how hard it's going to be this season to three-peat.  Even the worst teams in the league will be able to give them a game.  They will have to give their best effort every game because everybody loves to beat a champion.  The Sixers and Suns of the league are going to make them work for their home-court advantage.

My biggest takeaway from this game is that I have a favorite Sixer for this season! Michael Carter-Williams impressed me big time tonight.  I had my doubts about his ability to be a playmaker for this team, but the man finished the game with 22 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds, and nine steals in his debut.  The stat-line itself is impressive (a near QUADRUPLE-DOUBLE), but the fact that it was against Miami puts it over the top.  Miami has such a fast defense that young guards usually struggle against it.  I know they were without Dwyane Wade, but I don't think this performance was a fluke, I'm interested to see how he follows up this performance.

The Sixers return to action on the road on Friday night at 7 pm against the Washington Generals Wizards.

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