The 76ers fought off a Denver comeback to win a game that was to have brought together players involved in a major off-season trade.
Andre Iguodala went from the 76ers to Denver in a deal that brought Andrew Bynum from the Los Angeles Lakers to Philadelphia. Bynum, however, is out indefinitely with soreness in his right knee and watched as his new teammates began the campaign without him.
Philadelphia had as much as a 16-point lead early in the fourth quarter, but Denver closed within 73-70 with 4:37 to play on a jumper by Ty Lawson.
Holiday's jump shot and subsequent free throw halted the Denver surge and Philadelphia eventually built an 82-71 cushion with 2:47 remaining.
Spencer Hawes scored 16 points off the bench to lead the 76ers, who shot just 34 percent from the floor in the defensive battle. Holiday and Dorell Wright both had 14.
Lawson paced the Nuggets with 16 and Iguodala had 11.
Denver was 37 percent from the field and made only 4-of-18 attempts from 3-point range. Philadelphia recorded 13 steals and the Nuggets turned the ball over 20 times in all.
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