Philadelphia did hang with Indiana Monday night. The Sixers led through the first quarter and even when the Pacers came back in the second quarter their lead never swelled to more than 10, Philly cut it to three in the final minutes of the 99-90 Indiana win. It was the second time in a week they hung with Indiana, one of the league’s elite.
But moral victories are meaningless for the Sixers.
Their now franchise-record losing streak has reached 21 games.
The players are trying not to focus on it, said Henry Sims to CSNPhilly’s Dei Lynam.
“If we focused on that, that would be all we would focus on,” starting center Henry Sims said after collecting 11 rebounds in the game. “We are focused on the next game.
“We played the Pacers tough. I thought this was one of the better games we played since I have been here. Losses I am not worried about. I am worried about building. We played well. How do we sustain it and build on it for the next game?”
What else is he going to say? What else can the Sixers try to do?
The NBA record for consecutive losses 26 (Cleveland in 2010-11) and it’s hard to see how Philly doesn’t tie it. Look at their next five games:
• Chicago (Wednesday)
• New York (Friday, the Knicks have won six in a row)
• at Chicago (Saturday)
• at San Antonio
• at Houston
Not a win likely in there.
March 29 they host the Detroit Pistons the most likely potential win, the game that can stop the Sixers from setting a new NBA record for losses.
Problem is, teams that might have looked past the Sixers before will be up for them now — you don’t want to be the team the Sixers beat to break the streak.
It’s going to get worse before it gets better in Philadelphia.