HOUSTON (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers tied the NBA record with their 26th straight loss Thursday night, as James Harden’s triple-double led the Houston Rockets to a 120-98 victory.
Harden had 26 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in three quarters for his second career triple-double as Houston picked up its fifth straight victory.
The 76ers (15-57) stuck around early before a big second-quarter run allowed the Rockets to pull away and roll to the win.
Philadelphia matched the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers for the NBA’s worst skid and can set the record at home against Detroit on Saturday.
James Anderson led the Sixers with 30 points and made six 3-pointers.
The Sixers haven’t won since Jan. 29 and are two games away from going winless in two straight months. There was very little visible emotion as the final seconds ticked away and the players slowly made their way off the court.
Coach Brett Brown addressed the dreadful stretch before the game and said he wouldn’t feel bad for himself or his team if they were to tie the mark.
“We don’t talk about streaks,” he said. “I don’t even mention it to them and that’s my mission for them. I want them to continue to improve.”
And he isn’t interested in anyone’s pity.
“I hope they feel good about themselves,” he said. “I don’t want anyone feeling sorry for us or hanging our head ... we are going through something and we will get through it together.”
He also discussed their plan for rebuilding at length, saying he knew what he was getting into when he took the job and insisted this skid hasn’t been difficult for him.
“I can tell you very, very sincerely that this is something that in a twisted way is enjoyable in regards to watching the young guys get better,” he said. “Obviously at times it’s hard going through it ... (but) I feel like we’re heading in the right direction.”
None of that can erase the fact that this streak now has its place in history as one of the worst in all of the four major professional sports.
According to STATS LLC, the longest streaks in the other major sports are held by:
— In the NFL, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 26 losses in row, from Sept. 12, 1976-Dec. 4 1977.
— In MLB, the Philadelphia Phillies, 23 losses in a row, from Jan. 29, 1961-Aug. 20, 1961.
— In the NHL, the Pittsburgh Penguins, 18 losses in a row, from Jan. 13, 2004-Feb. 22, 2004.