Desperate to see a victory again, Philadelphia 76ers fans wouldn’t even wait for the end, standing to cheer as time was running out in the third quarter.
By then it was clear: The 76ers were going to win for the first time in two months, and they were going to do it with ease.
The 76ers snapped their NBA record-tying, 26-game losing streak, routing the Detroit Pistons 123-98 on Saturday night to avoid establishing the longest skid in U.S. major pro sports history.
“It’s not something I want to be a part of,” 76ers guard Michael Carter-Williams said, “so it’s great that we got this win.”
Carter-Williams and Thaddeus Young each scored 21 points for the 76ers, who won for the first time since beating Boston exactly two months ago and did it impressively, leading by as many as 32 points. They also ended an 18-game home losing streak, which was one shy of another NBA record.
Beaten badly a number of times during their skid, the 76ers got to experience life on the other side, ringing up a season-high 70 points in the first half.
Their 26 straight losses equaled the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and also the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who dropped 26 straight from Sept. 12, 1976-Dec. 4, 1977. Associated Press
One of the many things that analytics can never account for is motivation. The 76ers went from losing 26 games in a row to a blowout victory. It would be fair to say that the Detroit Pistons are not an impressive team to win against right now, but they have much more talent on the court than the 76ers. The win itself isn’t inexplicable but the margin of victory is shocking.
As an aside, it’s worth mentioning that the Milwaukee Bucks are still in pole position to get the most ping pong balls for the 2014 NBA draft lottery. – AL