76ers unable to put an end to losing streakAfter setting a franchise record for losses to start the season, the 76ers continued to focus on long-term goals.
Tyson Chandler had 20 points and 13 rebounds to help the Dallas Mavericks beat Philadelphia 110-103 on Saturday night, sending the 76ers to a 16th straight loss to start the season.
Michael Carter-Williams had a triple-double with 18 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds for the 76ers, who eclipsed the 1972-73 club that began 0-15 on the way to setting an 82-game NBA record for fewest victories at 9-73. Philadelphia became the fifth team in league history to open with at least 16 straight losses, joining the 1994-95 Clippers (0-16), 1998-99 Clippers (0-17), 1988-89 Heat (0-17) and the 2009-10 Nets (0-18).
“I’m fine and I don’t want those guys worrying about any record,’’ Philadelphia Coach Brett Brown said. ‘’We just have to keep our group together and move them along. I have so much respect for that group because their spirit has not been broken.’’
Philadelphia, with a roster of draft picks and young, undrafted players, is sacrificing victories to build for the future. Of the 12 players Brown played versus Dallas, only Luc Mbah a Moute has more than two years of NBA experience.
“We’re heartbroken we haven’t won,’’ Brown said. ‘’But down deep I feel like I know something that’s going on that I like. I think they will be rewarded for the work they’re putting in. I hope it’s sooner than later to validate their efforts.’’
The 76ers will try again for its first win on Monday when they host the defending champion Spurs. If they lose to San Antonio, Philadelphia could equal the NBA record for losses to begin a season on Wednesday at Minnesota and could potentially set an NBA record on Friday at home versus Oklahoma City.
Monta Ellis added 18 points for Dallas (13-5), which played without struggling star Dirk Nowitzki to win its third straight. Coach Rick Carlisle gave Nowitzki the night off to rest. He was 4 for 27 from 3-point range in his last four games.
“It’s a team you feel like you’re not supposed to lose to, no offense to them,’’ Chandler said.
K.J. McDaniels had 21 points and 13 rebounds for Philadelphia.
‘’I’m proud of my team for just fighting,’’ McDaniels said.
The Mavericks handed Philadelphia its worst loss of the season, a 53-point rout on Nov. 13. The 76ers had more turnovers (28) than field goals (23) in that 123-70 defeat. It was much closer on Saturday, but the result was the same.
Philadelphia trailed by just four points entering the fourth quarter. But the Mavericks scored the first six points of the final period to take a 96-86 lead with 9:02 remaining, matching their largest lead of the game. Philadelphia went 0 for 2 from the field with four turnovers during the Mavericks’ run and never got closer than four points the rest of the way.
“We knew we were playing a desperate team with a lot of pride,’’ Carlisle said. “They are undermanned and it’s been a tough year for them but I respect their coach and I respect how hard they play. We were going to be up against a team playing like their pants are on fire the whole night and they did. The best compliment you can give our guys is they played a game where they kept their poise and limited the number of runs and limited the number of times the crowd got into it.’’
The Sixers climbed out of a 10-point hole early in the third quarter to go up by a point three times late in the period, the last when Henry Sims scored on a layup to make it 85-84 with 1:51 left. But Dallas scored six of the last seven points of the quarter, capped by Chandler Parsons’ 3-pointer with 33.2 seconds left, to go up 90-86 entering the fourth quarter.
Philadelphia was without leading scorer Tony Wroten, who sprained his right knee late in Wednesday’s loss to Brooklyn. Wroten is expected to miss at least a week and will be reevaluated on Friday.