"It feels way better now than it was two days ago", Dragic said.
"We understand that we are not favorites", San Antonio's Manu Ginobili said.
Brown, who has a 10-win season and 26- and 28-game losing streaks on his resume thanks to the Process, has kept the organization steady. Belinelli and Ilyasova combined to hit four 3-pointers in the third quarter that helped shift the tone from physical and foul-filled to a long-distance game that allowed the Sixers to put away this one.
The 76ers outscored the Heat 74-43 in the second half after trailing 60-56 at halftime. Two power forwards paced the Heat. Over the last 15 games, he averaged 13.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game.
The 76ers' prolific offense was in rare form.
The star guard collected 17 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds for Philadephia, which played without leading big man Joel Embiid. Bellinelli and Ilyasova were vital midseason additions for Philadelphia. Embiid's early absence could end up being what pushes the Heat over the top in this series. Undrafted, he plays a special role for the team. He recently underwent surgery to fix a broken orbital bone.
When both Whiteside and Embiid are on the court, the University of Kansas product gets the nod. He is hopeful that he will be able to return for Game 2.
Joel Embiid rang the ceremonial Liberty Bell, and the Sixers made a whole lot of noise as the new edition of The Process began with a resonance that will echo throughout the National Basketball Association.
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