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76ers tie NBA record with 26th straight loss

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One more loss and the Sixers will be alone in their historic terribleness.

Scott Halleran

The Philadelphia 76ers are now a part of NBA history. They lost for an NBA record-tying 26th straight time on Thursday, falling to the Houston Rockets, 120-98.

The last time an NBA team lost 26 straight games was during the 2010-11 season, when the Cleveland Cavaliers didn't win a game from Dec. 20, 2012 to Feb. 9, 2013. The Cavaliers ended up finishing the season with a record of just 19-63, and used their own lottery pick to draft Tristan Thompson fourth overall.

The 76ers fought as much as they could have hoped in the first half, doing their best to match the Rockets' firepower with an anemic starting lineup featuring Hollis Thompson, James Anderson and Henry Sims. They couldn't keep up with the fourth-place team in the West, and by the third quarter, the game was well in hand.

Anderson scored 30 points on 11-of-18 shooting, adding three rebounds and two assists for the Sixers. Michael Carter-Williams had just four points, but notched 10 assists. James Harden had a triple-double for the Rockets, grabbing 26 points to go along with 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Dwight Howard had a game-high 13 rebounds, plus 17 points.

The Sixers are trying to develop young talent and rebuild, clearing cap space while cornerstone Carter-Williams cuts his teeth against NBA-caliber talent. Philadelphia has Nerlens Noel stashed away, too, and just $28.4 million in committed salary for the 2014-15 NBA season.

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Philadelphia is likely to keep its own first-round selection this year, which should be near the top of the draft, and have a top-five protected first-rounder from the New Orleans Pelicans, as well. Coupled with four second-round picks acquired from various trades, the Sixers will likely be big-time movers over the summer.

Detroit visits the Sixers in Philadelphia on Saturday, where the home team will have its chance at an exclusive claim on the NBA's losing streak record.