HOUSTON: The Philadelphia 76ers tied the National Basketball Association record of 26 consecutive losses after being hammered 120-98 by the Houston Rockets on Thursday.
Philadelphia joins the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers for the longest single-season losing streak in history with 26 straight defeats.
“We are going through a tough time,” Philadelphia head coach Brett Brown. “The group will stay together and we will finish this thing out together.”
The Sixers can set the NBA record with a loss to the Detroit Pistons on Saturday.
Philadelphia hasn’t won since a last-second victory on the road against the Boston Celtics on January 29.
James Harden posted his second career triple-double with 26 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the Rockets, who have won 11 in a row at home and five-straight overall.
“We did a great job of coming out tonight and taking care of business,” said Harden. “No matter what their record was, we knew they were going to come here and play hard.”
Terrence Jones tallied 20 points, seven rebounds and four steals for Houston, which improved to 29-7 at home this season.
Dwight Howard had 17 points and 13 rebounds in the win.
James Anderson finished with 30 points against his former team for Philadelphia, who never were in this game and have now lost 12 in a row on the road. Anderson was waived by Houston in July.
If Sixers coach Brown is worried about their place in history he isn’t showing it publicly.
“As this thing has moved along and gained momentum, I want these guys to be proud of themselves,” Brown said. “I want them to hold their heads high and know that they’ve given their best effort.
“They are doing everything we have asked them to do and (are) continuing to get better. As I said we don’t talk about streaks. We don’t even mention it to them.”
Henry Sims and Thaddeus Young had 18 and 15 points, with Young also grabbing nine rebounds.
Philadelphia tied the game 43-43 on an Anderson layup with just over six minutes left in the second quarter. But the Rockets closed out the half on a 20-6 surge to take a 63-49 lead.
Houston led by as many as 27 in the third and grabbed a 100-80 lead heading into the fourth.
The Rockets outscored the Sixers by a 20-18 margin in the final frame.