PHILADELPHIA – Desperate to see a victory again, Philadelphia fans wouldn’t even wait for the end, standing to cheer as time was running out in the third quarter.
By then, it was clear: The 76ers were going to win for the first time in two months, and they were going to do it with ease.
The Sixers snapped their NBA record-tying, 26-game losing streak, routing the Detroit Pistons 123-98 on Saturday night to avoid establishing the longest skid in U.S. major pro sports history.
“It’s not something I want to be a part of,” 76ers guard Michael Carter-Williams said, “so it’s great that we got this win.”
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Carter-Williams and Thaddeus Young each scored 21 points for the 76ers, who won for the first time since beating Boston two months earlier and did it impressively, leading by as many as 32 points.
They also ended an 18-game home losing streak, which was one shy of another NBA record.
Philadelphia guard Tony Wroten Jr., a former Washington Husky, had six points and a game-high nine assists. Wroten didn’t play in the previous three games because of an ankle injury.
Wroten was among the Sixers who downplayed the victory.
“It’s just like another win,” he said. “It’s the NBA. Y’all are talking about the pressure. We weren’t worried about a streak. We were just trying to get better every day.”
The 76ers got to experience life on the other side, ringing up a season-high 70 points in the first half.
Their 26 straight losses equaled the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and also the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who dropped 26 straight from Sept. 12, 1976-Dec. 4, 1977.
“We were just happy to get a win,” Young said. “I don’t think it was for the streak or anything like that, we just wanted to go out there and win a basketball game and continue to just play.”
Greg Monroe had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Pistons, who lost for the 11th time in 13 games. Blown out a night earlier by Miami, they made the 76ers look as good as the Heat with a sloppy effort that included 18 turnovers, many after starting point guard Brandon Jennings was ejected in the first quarter.
“They came out and competed tonight. They wanted it more than we did,” said Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey, a former Eastern Washington standout who scored 17 points.
Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said he never mentioned the losing streak to his team.
“I never went into a room and said, ‘We have to get out of the streak,’ ” Brown said.
“We talked about, ‘Let’s bang out great days.’ I’m glad tonight that the win validates that.”
San Antonio wins 17th straight
SAN ANTONIO – Marco Belinelli scored 18 points and the San Antonio Spurs never trailed after their opening possession, extending their winning streak to 17 games with a 96-80 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Pelicans won their previous five games.
Belinelli has made 10 of 14 three-point shots in the last two games.
• Chris Paul contributed 30 points and 12 assists and the Los Angeles Clippers clinched their franchise-record third straight playoff appearance with a 118-107 victory over the Rockets in Houston.
Jamal Crawford, a graduate of Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, added 22 points for the Clippers.
Houston center Dwight Howard didn’t play because of an ankle injury.
It wasn’t all good for Los Angeles, as Blake Griffin left in the first quarter with back spasms and didn’t return, and Glen Davis missed the second half for disciplinary reasons after throwing a temper tantrum in the second quarter. Davis, whose nickname is “Big Baby,” was apparently upset after being taken out of the game by coach Doc Rivers.
James Harden led the Rockets with 32 points and Chandler Parsons added 28.
• John Wall scored 25 points and the host Washington Wizards beat Atlanta 101-97.
• Chris Bosh scored 14 points as Miami won 88-67 at Milwaukee, which is a league-worst 14-59.
• Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 points and Dallas avoided a potentially serious blow to its playoff hopes by rallying in the fourth quarter to beat visiting Sacramento 103-100.
Rudy Gay scored 30 points for the Kings.
|Longest NBA losing streaks|
|The longest losing streaks in NBA history (*over two seasons):|
|26||Philadelphia 76ers||Jan. 31, 2014-March 27, 2014|
|26||Cleveland Cavaliers||Dec. 20, 2010-Feb. 9, 2011|
|24||*Cleveland Cavaliers||March 9-Nov. 5, 1982|
|23||Charlotte Bobcats||March 19-April 26, 2012|
|23||Denver Nuggets||Dec. 9, 1997-Jan. 23, 1998|
|23||Vancouver Grizzlies||Feb. 16, 1996-April 3, 1996|