PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia 76ers avoided a record-setting 27th straight National Basketball Association loss with a dominating 123-98 home victory over the struggling Detroit Pistons on Saturday.
Thaddeus Young finished with 21 points, six rebounds and three assists for the 76ers, who came into the contest having lost 18 straight at home and 26 overall, equaling the longest losing streak in league history.
"I am happy for the players and I am happy for the fans," said Sixers coach Brett Brown. "I am real happy for the players." The Cleveland Cavaliers set the NBA record with 26 straight losses in 2010-11.
The Sixers' 26 losses also matched the record for the longest losing skid of any major North American professional sports team.
The NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost 26 straight contests from September 12, 1976 to December 4, 1977.
"Just happy to get a win," said Young, Philadelphia's first since they beat the Boston Celtics on January 29. "I don't think we were thinking about the streak. We just wanted to go out there and win a basketball game." Michael Carter-Williams helped pace the attack in front of the crowd of 17,438 by scoring 21 points for the 76ers, who shot 52 per cent from the field. Philadelphia also ended their franchise-record 18-game losing home streak at the Wells Fargo Center arena.
Carter-Williams said the key was sharing the ball.
"We tried to concentrate on every single possession," said Carter-Williams, who also had seven rebounds, four assists and four steals. "Play smart and just do the right things and use each other.
"We came out with fire." Henry Sims tallied 16 points with seven rebounds and Hollis Thompson scored 14 points on four-of-four shooting from beyond the arc in the win.
The Sixers management has been insisting all along they are in a rebuilding mode.
At the trade deadline they dumped players by sending Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen packing.
Some Philadelphia fans have accused them of deliberately losing matches this season in order to get a prime pick in the entry draft.
"We chose a path and some may agree with it and some may not. We are not claiming it to be the correct way to do it. We don't want to blink," Brown said.
Brown said he is relieved that the team didn't set the record for futility.
"It is a good thing the stigma is not attached to their names," he said.
Greg Monroe finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Pistons, who have lost 18 of their last 22 games.
Rodney Stuckey had 17 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 16 in the loss.