The Philadelphia 76ers threatened two huge streaks on March 21. The Sixers not only had the Denver Nuggets’ 13-game overall winning streak on the ropes, they also had a chance to finally end their own 14-game road losing streak. But nine seconds before both streaks were ready to end, the Sixers let them stay alive after all in a 101-100 choke job loss.
A Corey Brewer three-pointer, two missed Evan Turner free throws, three made free throws from Brewer and a blocked Damien Wilkens buzzer-beating shot allowed the Nuggets to survive. All of this happened in the last nine seconds, after the Sixers were up by 100-95 and looked every bit like streak busters.
However, this entire week has been filled with inexplicable escapes to keep streaks alive. The Miami Heat mastered it with gigantic rallies on March 18 and March 20 over the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers to keep their 24-game winning streak going. It suggests that no matter what happens and no matter what the circumstances are, the Heat may never lose again -- at least until they win 34 straight games.
If the Heat’s run is being kept alive by destiny, maybe the Sixers’ road losing streak is the same way in reverse. After the way Philadelphia stunned the NBA’s second hottest team and then gave everything away, one has to wonder what more the Sixers have to do. Even when they finally did everything right away from Philadelphia, it still wasn’t enough because of one horrific series of events.
Thanks to the Sixers, the Nuggets have to believe that their winning streak is improbably blessed, just like the Heat’s is. On the other end, Philadelphia’s road skid is improbably cursed with seemingly no way to break it.
Miami’s run has put it on top of the NBA again, while Denver’s run has launched it right alongside the Western Conference elite. As for Philadelphia’s run, it has only provided a 6-25 road record to cancel out a 19-17 mark at home – which makes it obvious why the Sixers are 26-42 overall.
Will the Sixers ever win a road game again before the Heat and Nuggets ever lose again? If this week is any indication, neither of those things might happen at this rate.