PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- LeBron James and his new teammates are playing like a work in progress, not a title contender.
Relax, Heat fans. There's plenty of time for the triumphant trio to work out the kinks.
James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have their first win with Miami, and the Big Three got help from some big 3s in the Heat's 97-87 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.
"We're not at our peak, we're not even close," Wade said. "Eventually when it's time to be there, we will."
Playing with purpose a night after an 88-80 loss in a hyped showdown with Boston, the three looked as if they still need some games to get used to playing with each other. Only Wade, with 30 points, looked particularly sharp against the Sixers. The Heat hit three straight 3-pointers in the third quarter to bust open an eight-point halftime lead.
James relied almost entirely on his left hand and scored 16 points, and Bosh had 15.
James and the Heat just couldn't squash the Sixers, who went on a 15-3 run late in the fourth to make it surprisingly competitive.
Wade was bothered by a strained right hamstring in the preseason. His tough driving layup gave him 30 points - on 10-for-20 shooting - sealed the win. He as just 4 for 16 in the opener.
"I got in a comfort zone," Wade said. "I missed some shots around the basket, but it's coming."
A James - not LeBron - sparked the Heat. James Jones hit 6-of-9 3s and scored 20 points. The Heat shot 50 percent from 3-point range - enough to make up for tough shooting nights from James and Bosh (combined 11 for 24). James had nine turnovers.
"When we have our long ball going like that, it's unlimited what we can do offensively," James said.
Up next, Friday's home opener against Orlando.
For all the buzz surrounding the Heat, there were plenty of patches of empty seats in the announced sellout crowd of 20,389 in the Sixers' home opener.
Evan Turner led the Sixers with 16 points in his first NBA game. Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young had 15.
All three came off the bench to help the Sixers outscore the Heat 33-17 in the fourth.
"We know every night we go out, a team is going to want to beat the Miami Heat," James said. "Especially on the road, you're going to have the opposing crowd on you all game."
James heard the loudest boos when he was introduced from fans that can deliver them as vociferously as any city in the league. He heard them occasionally during the game, but the volume was turned down and the noise mostly disappeared as the Heat pulled away.
"I've been booed my whole NBA career," James said. "They boo you because they love the way you play basketball."
One fan's sign called James "LeBum, the lyin' King" while another read "I witnessed no championship."
James was slow to warm up, and played the first quarter like it was a preseason game. He was whistled for a travel, an offensive foul and threw the ball out of bounds off a drive down the lane.
James drew a crowd of onlookers during warmups, including several members of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Before the game, James said he already forgotten all about the Boston loss. He didn't seem to care about suggestions that teams were playing harder with a chance to shine against the marquee team in the NBA.
"I've been a friend of that bulls-eye for a long time," James said.
Jones was the one right on target.
He hit four 3s during a 16-2 run in the second quarter that gave the Heat a 49-41 lead at the break. For most of the first half, the fired-up Sixers gave Miami a bit of a run. In Doug Collins' first game as coach, the Sixers led 26-24 until Jones sparked a 10-0 run with the first 3 of his spurt.
Jones, who considered retirement because of a wrist injury, showed he has plenty of game left.
"This is a game that I love and I had to sit down and say if I couldn't be effective, if I couldn't regain my form, I would have to consider doing something else," he said.
The Heat kept rolling from long distance in the third quarter. Jones hit two around one from Eddie House and the lead was 76-51. Miami was up 80-54 after three.
As for the Sixers, Collins said before the game his pieces didn't all fit. It showed when he started Jason Kapono - one of the team leaders in DNP-CD's last season. Kapono and starters Spencer Hawes and Jru Holiday combined for eight points. The starting lineup did not attempt a single free throw.
"My starters are not necessarily my best players, that's why I said don't get caught up in who's starting," Collins said.
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