Connect with us


Sixers Season of Struggles Continues

The 76ers tied NBA history for all the wrong reasons.

On Wednesday, they matched the league record of 26 straight losses after squandering an 11-point lead with 6:16 remaining in the fourth quarter to fall, 84-80, to the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. Ten of those losses for the Sixers date back to last season. They previously tied the mark in February 2014 and it was also reached by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2011.

The Sixers fell to 0-16 on the season. The worst start in NBA history is 0-18 by the 2009-10 New Jersey Nets.

Turning point

The Sixers led by seven points with four minutes to go, but a trey by Jae Crowder brought the Celtics within four, 77-73. Crowder forced a turnover on the next possession and Jared Sullinger brought the Celtics within two on a jumper.

The Sixers committed two turnovers in 25 seconds after that, which resulted in five Celtics points, including another Crowder three-pointer to give the C’s an 82-80 lead with 38 seconds to go.

With two minutes left, the Sixers led by five. Entering Wednesday, teams leading by five-plus with two minutes left were 196-3 this season, according to ESPN.

A promising start

After trailing 12-2 to start the game, the Sixers climbed out the deficit with a mid-first-quarter push. The team went on an 8-3 run sparked by four points and a block from Jerian Grant.

Former Celtic Phil Pressey nabbed a steal and tied the game at 22 apiece with 2:13 to go. Less than 30 seconds later, he made a go-ahead layup. Even though the Celtics led 26-24 after one, the Sixers had gained momentum they carried into the second quarter and led 47-40 at halftime.

Turnovers add up

The Sixers played under control in the first half with just four turnovers. In the third quarter, however, they committed seven. They finished the game with 19, resulting in 16 points.

High numbers

Jahlil Okafor led the Sixers with 19 points (7 of 17 FG, 5 of 5 FT) and he grabbed nine rebounds. Robert Covington set a new career-high with 14 rebounds along with 11 points. Hollis Thompson scored 15 points off the bench.

Isaiah Thomas led all scorers with 30 points (11 for 21 FG, 4 for 7 3PG, 4 for 4 FT) along with four rebounds and six assists. Evan Turner recorded a near double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds.

Starting five: Version 7

The Sixers began the game with their seventh starting lineup of the season. With Nik Stauskas sidelined (knee), Sixers head coach Brett Brown went with T.J. McConnell, Isaiah Canaan, Covington, Nerlens Noel and Okafor.

Brown explained he created the lineup for flexibility and ball control.

“We need more ball handlers,” he said pregame. “I’ve got great respect for the Celtics’ guards. They turn people over.”

Canaan had not started since Nov. 2.

Up next

The Sixers will continue on their six-game road trip with a matchup against the Houston Rockets on Friday. They will travel to face the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday before taking on the Los Angeles Lakers back at home next Tuesday.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Basketball