The Philadelphia 76ers are perhaps hours away from completing NBA history. When the Sixers face the Detroit Pistons on March 29, it will be remarkable for one reason only. This game between two go-nowhere lottery teams will still be historic, either for Philadelphia securing the longest NBA losing streak of all time, or for losing out on that dishonor as well.
The Sixers have been losers for so long, it would almost make sense to win now -- and thereby lose their chance at true infamy. The Pistons aren't exactly the strongest opponent they have faced lately, so there is a small window of opportunity for Detroit to spoil this. Given that the Pistons lost by 110-78 to the Miami Heat at home on March 28, they aren't exactly on a roll either.
This is still a Sixers team that gave up 130 points to the Milwaukee Bucks -- who only just tied Philadelphia for the worst record in the NBA. This is still a Sixers team that suffered two losses by more than 40 points on consecutive nights during the early days of the streak. In addition, this is a Philadelphia club that last won on Jan. 29, on a buzzer-beating shot from a player that was traded a month later.
Since new Indiana Pacer Evan Turner hit the winning shot in Boston exactly two months ago, the Sixers have gone on a long march towards the record books. When coach Brett Brown said on March 1 that he wondered if Philadelphia would win another game this season "all the time" it still sounded like a joke. Now the prospect of ending the year on a 36-game losing streak isn't so laughable.
If not for Turner's shot, the Sixers would actually be on a 30-game losing slide right now. As it stands, that could still happen soon enough. Nevertheless, their 26-game skid has had a lot of memorable and infamous memories.
The accompanying list details the 10 worst and most historic defeats for Philadelphia in these last two months -- with the chance for 10 more to come in the next month.
Hawks start losing streak
Jan. 31: Atlanta Hawks 125, Sixers 99 -- The tone was set right away for the next two months to come, as the Sixers came off a buzzer-beating win over the Boston Celtics and suffered their first of many blowout losses to come.
Clippers slaughter Sixers
Feb. 9: Los Angeles Clippers 123, Sixers 78 -- The Sixers had been through a seemingly ordinary five-game losing streak thus far. But this loss to the Clippers, who led by as many as 56 points, put the Sixers on the national radar of embarrassment.
Sixers destroyed again 24 hours later
Feb 10: Golden State Warriors 123, Sixers 80 -- 24 hours after their humiliation in Los Angeles, the Sixers were almost even worse at Golden State, although this time they only trailed by as many as 49 points.
Sixers are even blown out by Bucks
Feb. 24: Milwaukee Bucks 130, Sixers 110 -- For all of the Sixers' losses, they are only tied for the worst record in the NBA with the Bucks. This made a loss like this -- the 11'th in a row for Philadelphia -- all the more eye popping and humiliating.
Iverson honored to no avail
March 1: Washington Wizards 122, Sixers 103 -- No one came to see the Sixers lose their 13'th straight game, as Allen Iverson's halftime retirement ceremony was the main attraction. Still, the Wizards were a better backup act for the former Sixer than the current Sixers.
March 4: Oklahoma City Thunder 125, Sixers 92 -- The Sixers' 15'th straight defeat was never in doubt, as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook only needed three quarters of work to dismiss them.
Sixers tie franchise record
March 15: Memphis Grizzlies 103, Sixers 78 -- The Sixers finally equaled the franchise record for consecutive losses, held by the 1972-73 Sixers team that was the worst in NBA history.
Sixers break their first record
March 17: Indiana Pacers 99, Sixers 90 -- Although this was one of the Sixers' closer losses, the Pacers and former Philadelphian Evan Turner still doomed them to a franchise record 21'st straight defeat.
Knicks narrowly hold on
March 21: New York Knicks 93, Sixers 92 -- The closest Philadelphia came to actually winning a game was this one, although J.R. Smith and the Knicks won their eighth straight and stretched the Sixers' losing streak to 23.
Sixers equal infamy
March 27: Houston Rockets 120, Sixers 98 -- After two months, Philadelphia secured its 26'th straight loss in anti climatic fashion, suffering a mere 22 point defeat to the powerful Rockets.