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76ers fight Pacers before securing franchise-worst losing streak

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The Philadelphia 76ers have set one of the worst losing streaks in NBA history through many blowout losses. As such, the Sixers should have broken the record for Philadelphia's worst losing streak with another slaughter to the Indiana Pacers on March 17. Instead, the Pacers actually gave the Sixers hope before finally escaping with a 99-90 victory, as well as Philadelphia's record-setting 21'st straight loss.

The night was rough from the start for the Eastern Conference leading Pacers, who yielded an early 15-6 deficit. Even when Indiana came back and took an eight point halftime lead, Philadelphia didn't go on to lose by 20-30 points, like usual. In fact, the Sixers even briefly went ahead in the third, thanks to a 6-for-27 shooting performance by the Pacers in the quarter.

But since Indiana is Indiana and Philadelphia is Philadelphia, the tide turned in favor of the hosts. Still, the Sixers got as close as three points down with over two minutes left, before George Hill hit a dagger three-pointer and forced a steal that led to a Roy Hibbert three-point play.

Lance Stevenson and Paul George also helped bail Indiana out with a respective 25 and 24 points. Meanwhile, Evan Turner -- who hit the buzzer beater that gave the Sixers their last win in Boston on Jan. 29 -- had only four points off the bench for the Pacers.

A lot has changed since Turner hit that game winner, except for the Sixers' inability to win. Nevertheless, Philadelphia actually put up a real challenge to Indiana for the second time in the last four days. That has been fairly out of character during this losing streak for the Sixers, even though losing in the end hasn't been.

Since Philadelphia threatened the Eastern Conference leaders and potential champions twice, perhaps it can also challenge the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets over the next five games. If not, then the Sixers' franchise record losing streak will only be the first record they set, as the Cleveland Cavaliers' NBA leading 26-game losing streak gets closer and closer.

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