The Philadelphia 76ers would pull a massive upset by beating any team at all. But on March 27, the Sixers only had one hope to avoid tying the longest NBA losing streak of all time -- beating a Houston Rockets club that is one of the four best teams in the powerful Western Conference. An upset like that was too tall of an task, although the Sixers did tie the score in the second quarter -- yet the last 2 1/2 quarters restored order.
The Rockets' 120-98 win was a fitting way for the Sixers to lose their 26'th straight game and tie for NBA infamy. Like so many of their defeats, a decisive and embarrassing run doomed Philadelphia and buried it completely. Once the Sixers' Caspar Ware made a buzzer-beating half court shot to end the first quarter and the Sixers tied things up in the second, the bottom fell out from there.
A 20-6 run gave the Rockets all they needed to feel comfortable at the end of the half. The momentum kept building up in the third, as the Rockets pushed their lead to as much as 25 points. From then on, the Sixers played out the string, like they have during the entire losing streak and for much of this season in general.
Not only did the Sixers tie the record, they got within one game of finally tying the Milwaukee Bucks for the worst record in the NBA. Even with this 26-game skid, Philadelphia remains only the second worst team in the league this year. So for all this losing, the Sixers might not even have the most NBA lottery balls this summer.
However, the worst losing streak of all time carries more infamy than having the worst record in the league for a season. Technically, the Sixers haven't secured any of those things yet, but the time may soon be at hand for both achievements.
Yet there might actually be a speed bump in the road on March 29, as the Sixers return to Philadelphia to face the Detroit Pistons. After losing to several playoff teams in recent days, the Sixers can now break the record against a Pistons team that is skidding towards the lottery themselves. Philadelphia had no chance to beat San Antonio and Houston this week, but Detroit could be another matter.