Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 10/28

Game 1: Tuesday, October 28th
Game 2: Friday, December 5th
Game 3: Wednesday, December 17th
Game 4: Saturday, March 20th

Heat 74

(0-1, 0-1 away)

76ers 89

(1-0, 1-0 home)

    Coverage: CSN

    7:00 PM ET, October 28, 2003

    Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIA 19 20 23 1274
    PHI 24 20 21 2489

    Top Performers

    Mia: D. Wade 18 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast

    Phi: A. Iverson 26 Pts, 5 Reb, 11 Ast, 5 Stl

    Wade shines, but Heat falls without Odom

    Associated Press

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Allen Iverson always feels as if he's going to make all of his shots. When they aren't falling, the three-time NBA scoring champion uses that as motivation to finish strong.

    "When I struggle for three quarters, all I think about is that last 12 minutes," Iverson said.

    Iverson scored 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and had 11 assists as the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Miami Heat 89-74 Tuesday night in the season opener for both teams.

    "I just felt like it was my time to step up my game, said Iverson, who went 3-for-4 from 3-point range in the fourth. "My teammates had been holding the fort down the previous three quarters."

    It was the first game for new Sixers coach Randy Ayers, Larry Brown's top assistant for six seasons, and for Heat coach Stan Van Gundy, who was promoted last week after Pat Riley stepped down.

    Philadelphia broke the game open with a 12-0 run to start the fourth quarter after the Heat closed within three at the end of the third.

    Iverson, who shot just 4-for-17 through three quarters and missed all seven 3-point attempts, ignited the run with a nice pass to Willie Green for an alley-oop. Iverson then hit a 3-pointer from the left wing and added a driving one-handed layup from the right side.

    Green added another basket before Aaron McKie drilled a 3-pointer -- a rarity in the Brown era -- sending the Sixers' crowd into its first frenzy of the season and stretching the lead to 77-62.

    Rafer Alston ended the run with a 3-pointer, but Iverson countered with another 3-pointer for an 80-65 lead. The Sixers led by as many as 17 in the last quarter.

    Iverson went 9-for-25 from the floor, but was 5-for-8 in the fourth for his 50th career double-double. It was the kind of result he wanted in Ayers' first game. The two get along well, unlike Iverson's contentious relationship with Brown.

    "It's not too different at all, except for the yelling and cursing," Iverson said, taking a good-natured swipe at Brown.

    Dwyane Wade scored 18 points in his first NBA game. Eddie Jones scored 15 points and Brian Grant added 13 for the Heat, who played all but the first eight minutes without forward Lamar Odom. Odom sprained his right ankle. X-rays were negative.

    Odom was the centerpiece of Miami's offseason overhaul, signing a $65 million, six-year contract. Odom said he might miss up to two games.

    Kenny Thomas scored 15 points for the Sixers, who had eight turnovers to Miami's 19.

    Philadelphia led by 12 in the second quarter before Wade keyed a brief rally. Wade, the No. 5 overall pick in the draft, showed he might be able to play a role in revitalizing the franchise. He was 6-for-10 from the field for 14 points in the first half, but did have five turnovers.

    As the clock ticked down in the final minute, Wade faked a pass to the left wing, which got Thomas off balance. That allowed Wade to spin back and sink a turnaround jumper from about 16 feet, making it 44-39 at the half.

    Wade sustained a hip pointer when he took a charge from Eric Snow in the first half. Jones sustained cuts on two fingers on his right hand. Both are listed as day-to-day.

    The Heat cut it to 48-46 midway through the third quarter, but never took the lead. The Sixers got their lead back to 11, but a three-point play by John Wallace and a running jumper by Wade made it 65-62 after three quarters.

    Miami's comeback was helped by the Sixers' struggles from the line. The 76ers shot just 4-for-12 from the line in the third, including Thomas' 1-for-6.

    The rally fell short and Van Gundy's debut was spoiled.

    "It doesn't feel good losing by 15," he said.

    Notes: Ayers said a conversation with Brown over the weekend and a post-practice chat on Monday with GM Billy King and vice president Tony Dileo helped calm his nerves. He's the first Sixers coach to win his debut since Fred Carter in 1993. "I'm glad that's over so now we can settle in and build this team," Ayers said. ... Sixers forward Glenn Robinson will miss the first three games of the season. He was suspended by the NBA following a conviction for domestic assault and battery. ... McKie, John Salmons and Derrick Coleman all scored 10 points for the Sixers.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press