... The Philadelphia 76ers, for coming to the All Hallow's Eve Eve season opener dressed cleverly as a legitimate professional basketball team. Now it will be interesting to see if they actually bought the costume or were just renting it.
♦ The defending champion Miami Heat, who had opened their season the night before by beating the Chicago Bulls, came into town with a record of 20-1 in the second game of their last 21 set of back-to-backs, dating to March, 2012.
♦ The Sixers got off to a 19-0 lead in the first 4:35. The last time the Eagles had a 19-0 lead was Christmas Eve of 2011, when they opened up a 20-0 margin on the Cowboys. It took the Birds 46:35 to forge that margin that day.
♦ In Chip Kelly’s 53 games as head coach at Oregon, Ducks quacked out a lead of 19-0 or better 10 times.
♦ And then there was the 24-0 lead that sixth-ranked Temple unfurled at the Palestra on Jan. 6, 1988, en route to a 84-50 victory over the soon-to-be 1-7 Penn Quakers. The Owls led 15-0 after 3:25 and 24-0 after 7:58 and at one point had 33-2 margin.
♦ The Sixers won despite allowing 45 points in the third period. The last time they allowed that many points in a quarter, Michael Carter-Williams was 23 days old (Nov. 2, 1991). That was 122-115 loss to the Magic, during which Orlando posted a 47 in the third.
♦ The last time the Sixers allowed 45 or more points in a single period and won the game was Nov. 18, 1988 in a 137-135 victory over the Knicks. New York outscored the Sixers 47-43 in the second quarter that night. The 90 combined points is tied for the third-highest scoring period in Sixers history, behind a pair of 92s. The NBA record is 99.
♦ The 76ers franchise is now 7-20 in games they allow a 45-or-more-point quarter.
♦ MCW’s nine steals not only is the NBA record for a player making his NBA debut (according to the Elias Sports Bureau), but tied a Sixers club record held by Maurice Cheeks, Hersey Hawkins and Allen Iverson (twice). The NBA record for steals, kept as an official statistic since the 1973-74 season, is 11 (Larry Kenon, Kendall Gill).
♦ Speaking of Iverson, many thanks to him for officially announcing his retirement before the game. We had been on pins and needles awaiting his return since his last game played — 1,348 days ago (Feb. 20, 2010).
♦ The Sixers starting five played together for 27:12 Wednesday night and outscored the Heat, 52-45, over that time.
♦ And whenever any Philly athlete makes his debut with a game like Carter-Williams unfurled Wednesday (22 points, 7 rebounds, 12 assists, 1 turnover), it brings to mind that of the Flyers’ Al Hill.
All Hill did on Feb. 14, 1977, was come up from the Maine Mariners to help replace the injured Bill Barber and Paul Holmgren .. start the game (a Fred Shero staple for players debuting) against the Blues on a line with Bobby Clarke and Bob Kelly ... blast a 40-footer past St. Louis goalie Yves Belanger just 36 seconds into the contest ... and add another goal and three assists.
But our favorite part of the whole thing was that it took the league a few days to determine that his five points in his NHL debut was a record ... by which time Hill was back playing for the Mariners.