PHILADELPHIA — Its first win a certainty Wednesday, it appeared the Heat didn’t want to stop playing in Philadelphia. It felt that good.
Game in hand, LeBron James was still swatting shots with less than 20 seconds remaining. Never mind that the Heat’s 97-87 victory against Philadelphia was no longer in doubt. Reserve forward James Jones still threw his body in front of 76ers guard Lou Williams and absorbed an offensive charge.
With the first-game jitters out of the way following Tuesday’s loss at Boston, the Heat (1-1) cruised to an easy victory in the second half of its first back-to-back road swing of the season. Playing with more confidence and aggression than in his debut, guard Dwyane Wade scored a team-high 30 points. Taking full advantage of the 76ers’ constant focus on Wade, James and Chris Bosh, Jones had 20 points off the bench, making six of nine from three-point range.
James finished with 16 points in 37 minutes and had a team-high seven assists along with nine turnovers. He also had six rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot. Bosh scored 15 points, shooting 50 percent from the field after struggling in his debut. The Heat shot 47.8 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range one night at shooting 36.5 percent from the field against Boston.