Sixers drop 26th straight, 120-98 to Rockets

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HOUSTON (AP) - Philadelphia coach Brett Brown was grasping for positives after his team tied an NBA record for futility by dropping its 26th straight game on Thursday night.

“We still don’t have the poorest record in the league,” said Brown, whose Sixers have won one more game than league-worst Milwaukee. “When you look at the realities of where we ended up, it’s not as painful and as shocking as it may seem to others.”

Regardless of the Bucks’ record, Philadelphia’s winless stretch has been matched in NBA history only by the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers.

James Harden had 26 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in three quarters for his second career triple-double to lead the Houston Rockets to the 120-98 win - their fifth straight.

The 76ers (15-57) stuck around early before a big second-quarter run allowed the Rockets to pull away and roll to the win.

The 76ers can set the record for NBA ineptitude at home against Detroit on Saturday.

Brown is dedicated to Philadelphia’s rebuilding process and seems undaunted by the skid.

“We’re trying to grow something and build something,” he said. “And the short-term pain we hope is going to produce long-term gain. We think that this will fade to a distant memory in September and we are staying strong with our approach.”

James Anderson led the Sixers with 30 points that included six 3-pointers.

The Sixers haven’t won since Jan. 29 and are two games from going winless in two straight months. There was little visible emotion as the final seconds ticked away and the players slowly made their way off the court.

But rookie Michael Carter-Williams didn’t like what he saw during the game and addressed the team afterward.

“During the game a couple of guys had long faces … and I found myself a little bit down,” said Carter-Williams, who had 10 assists. “I just don’t want anyone in this locker room feeling bad for themselves. … I think that’s really important that we don’t get down on ourselves and we just give up just because we have a certain amount of losses.”

Dwight Howard added 17 points and 13 rebounds for Houston. Terrence Jones had 20 points.

“I think tonight could have been somewhat of a trap game for us,” Rockets guard Jeremy Lin said. “At the beginning, we didn’t come out with maybe the best mindset … we pushed the lead to 15 points in the second quarter and from then on it was OK.”

There were a number of lowlights as the 76ers took their spot in history. One came when Howard blocked a shot by Thaddeus Young and Young fell backward to the floor. By the time he got up, the Rockets were already on the other end of the court running their offense.

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