NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 15th (All times Eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (38-27) at Philadelphia 76ers (15-50), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia 76ers' losing streak is at 19 games and to avoid hitting 20, they'll have to contend with the Memphis Grizzlies at the Wells Fargo Center Saturday night.
A setback on Saturday will match the franchise record for consecutive losses, set originally in the historically bad 1972-73 season. That Sixers team of 40 years ago went only 9-73, the worst record in an NBA season.
The current product surpassed that win total long ago, but another league mark for futility has come into play. The Cleveland Cavaliers own the NBA record for longest losing streak with a 26-game slide in the 2010-11 campaign.
For the Sixers to match that feat, it would start with a loss on Saturday, but a look ahead at the scheduled isn't favorable. Over the next six games, Philly plays the Indiana Pacers, the Chicago Bulls twice, the San Antonio Spurs and the Houston Rockets. The only game against a sub .500 team is versus the New York Knicks, who have won five in a row.
The streak reached 19 games Friday night in a home, 101-94 loss to the Pacers in a somewhat spirited affair.
Thaddeus Young registered 25 points, 10 assists and six rebounds for the Sixers, who have not won since beating the Boston Celtics on Jan. 29 and have dropped a franchise-record 15 straight at home.
The Sixers trailed by as many as 17 in the first half but two Young free throws capped a 9-0 spurt to get them within 87-84 with 4:58 remaining.
Indiana, though, netted six straight points as back-to-back David West jumpers staked it to a 93-84 spread. A Young jumper less than a minute later cut the deficit to 93-90, but Paul George drove in for a layup before knocking down a 3-pointer to make it 98-90 with 1:36 left.
"We need every break we can get if we are going to beat a team," Sixers head coach Brett Brown said.
There were no breaks and for context purposes, the Sixers' losing streak is now one longer than Susan Lucci's losing streak at the Daytime Emmys.
The Grizzlies had a four-game winning streak come to a halt on Friday night in Toronto. The Raptors won, 99-86, in a game that was much closer than the final score.
A Mike Miller free throw tied the game with 6:24 to play, but the Grizzlies went the next five-plus minutes without a point, allowing the Raptors to run away with the contest.
"We didn't make free throws and didn't make a lot of shots," Memphis head coach David Joerger said. "Hats off to (the Raptors)."
Zach Randolph recorded 16 points and eight boards to pace Memphis, which managed just one field goal over the last eight minutes.
Courtney Lee added 12 for the Grizzlies, followed by 11 from Nick Calathes, and 10 apiece out of Tony Allen and Mike Conley.
It was an uncharacteristically off night defensively for the Grizz. While they held the Raps under 100, they allowed the Atlantic Division leaders to shoot 50.7 percent from the field and 52.9 percent from long range.
The Grizzlies have won four of the last five meetings and three in a row in Philadelphia.
03/15 10:34:13 ET