The Philadelphia 76ers are on the cusp of winning the NBA’s version of The Biggest Loser.
Think of all the can’t-watch-this bad basketball in the league’s history. The seven-win Charlotte Bobcats in 2011-12 could only muster a 23-game skid. The 1972-73 Sixers that went 9-73; just 20 consecutive losses. Those old Clippers and Grizzlies teams that couldn’t even crack double-digit win totals didn’t come close to 26.
None of them lost as many consecutive games as the Sixers. They have lost 26 games in a row, a winless stretch has been matched in NBA history only by the 2010-11 Cavaliers.
Houston’s 120-98 win over the Sixers on Thursday night matched the mark, prompting the back page of Friday’s Philadelphia Daily News to run with the headline, “The Big SKID MARK.”
The 76ers can set the record for NBA ineptitude at home against Detroit tonight.
“I’m not even thinking about it,” veteran forward Thaddeus Young said.
Added guard James Anderson, “We try not to pay attention to it. But it’s tough. There are a lot of people talking about it. It’s kind of hard to ignore it.”
Try impossible. Not even General Manager Sam Hinkie, who orchestrated the takedown that left the roster for scraps, could have predicted this kind of carnage. The Sixers’ streak started on Jan. 31 with a 125-99 loss to Atlanta. It stretched into a winless February. An 0-for-March seems possible.
Hope just might be on the way: The Sixers play a Detroit Pistons team that is 26-45 and has lost eight of 10.
NETS ROOKIE FINED — The NBA fined Jorge Gutierrez fined $15,000 for excessive contact on a foul, shortly after the Brooklyn Nets signed the rookie point guard to a multiyear contract. Gutierrez was nearing the end of his second 10-day contract when he fouled center Cody Zeller on Wednesday in Brooklyn’s 116-111 overtime loss in Charlotte. The NBA determined that Gutierrez made excessive contact above the shoulders on the foul, for which he was given a flagrant 2 and automatically ejected.
Gutierrez is averaging 3.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists in five games.
THOMAS SITS — Sacramento point guard Isaiah Thomas missed the Kings’ game at Oklahoma City due to a right quad contusion. Thomas also missed Wednesday night’s game against the Knicks.
Rookie Ray McCallum made his second career start in Thomas’ place on Friday night.
In two games against the Thunder this season, Thomas averaged 31 points and 4.5. He scored 38 points against Oklahoma City on Jan. 19. He is averaging 20.7 points and 6.4 assists this season.