HOUSTON – After the Philadelphia 76ers tied a league record with their 26th consecutive loss, one of their youngest voices spoke loudest.
Michael Carter-Williams, one of six rookies on the NBA’s youngest team, delivered a pep talk after James Harden’s triple-double led the Houston Rockets to a 120-98 victory on Thursday night.
“During the game, a couple of guys had long faces … and I found myself a little bit down,” said Carter-Williams, who had 10 assists. “I just don’t want anyone in this locker room feeling bad for themselves … I think that’s really important that we don’t get down on ourselves and we just give up just because we have a certain amount of losses.
“I just felt like I needed to speak my piece and make sure that guys are upbeat every single day.”
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Philadelphia, which matched the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers for the league’s worst skid, hosts Detroit on Saturday.
Coach Brett Brown of the Sixers (15-57) said, “The group will stay together, and we will finish this thing out together.”
Harden had 26 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in three quarters for his second career triple-double as Houston (49-22) picked up its fifth straight victory.
Before the game, Brown said, “I can tell you very, very sincerely that this is something that, in a twisted way, is enjoyable in regards to watching the young guys get better.”
• LaMarcus Aldridge, who missed the previous seven games because of a lower-back problem, had 25 points and 16 rebounds to lead Portland to a 100-85 victory at Atlanta.
The crowd included Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
• Chris Paul had game-high totals of 31 points and nine assists as the visiting Los Angeles Clippers beat Dallas 109-103.
• Brandon Knight scored 30 points to lead host Milwaukee to a 108-105 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. The Bucks ended their losing streak at eight.