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The 76ers' rebuilding project hits a new low in Dallas

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Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown worries there is more losing to come, but can it get any worse than a 53-point loss?

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The NBA season may be young, but it's about time the Philadelphia 76ers began looking at history to motivate them.

Philadelphia fell to the Dallas Mavericks, 123-70, on Thursday night in the franchise's first loss by such a wide margin since 1993. Coach Brett Brown's team lost its eighth game in a row, the first time the Sixers have done so since the 1972-73 version. That's an important comparison because that team went 9-73 on the year and it stands as the worst 82-game record in NBA history.

The good news, if there's any such thing in this situation, is that Philadelphia gets to forget about it Friday night against the Houston Rockets. At least that's what Brown told Philly.com.

"The bad news is, it doesn't go away," he added. "It's like water dripping on your forehead, and there's no place to hide.

"And, so, as a group, we have to figure out a way to compete."

Looking at history might be one way to get the most fight out of a roster that includes three healthy first-round draft picks.

One of those players, reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, returned from a shoulder injury against the Mavs on the same day The Players' Tribune published his article titled "Don't Talk to About Tanking." Carter-Williams' debut couldn't have done much more to do the opposite.

From the team perspective, it was ugly as well.

The 76ers coughed it up 27 times leading to 39 Mavericks points. Dallas sliced them up for 41 made field goals on 33 assists, and a lot of it had to do with simple problems on pick-and-roll coverages. On the other end, the Sixers shot an abysmal 29.9 percent from the floor and couldn't even score at the foul stripe, missing 16 of their 33 free throws.

Philadelphia was lucky Dallas only shot 51 percent. That percentage seems low considering the Mavs scored 32 fast break points.

Looking at the big picture, the tanking narrative in Philly won't end anytime soon. The Sixers have gone 4-40 since the beginning of last February and have the third-worst scoring margin in NBA history through eight games. Brown's team has lost by an average of 17.9 points per game.

It's hard to imagine Philadelphia picking up a victory, though it surely will at some point. The bad news? In the remaining 22 games of 2014, the Sixers play only eight teams that currently have losing records.

There's no place to hide and the water continues to drip.

★★★

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