Bulls-76ers Preview

The Associated Press

The Philadelphia 76ers are trying to remain positive as their losing streak has grown to one of historical significance.

They'll try to keep their team-record skid from reaching 22 when they host the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.

Though Philadelphia (15-52) led by nine early and three late, it fell 99-90 at Indiana on Monday to set the club record for consecutive defeats, breaking the mark set by the 1972-73 team. The 76ers are tied with Detroit, which dropped 21 in a row bridging the 1979-80 and 1980-81 seasons, for the sixth-longest slide in league history.

First-year coach Brett Brown and his players have tried to avoid thinking about it, but Philadelphia is closing in on Cleveland's NBA-record 26-game losing streak set in the 2010-11 season.

"It's hard because of a competitive thing, but in relation to worrying about a record, we don't live in that world," Brown said. "I don't bring that to that locker room once. I don't mention it to them, I don't think about it often - (but) you can't help but be aware of it.

"We move on. We're on a different path now."

In search of their first win since Jan. 29, the 76ers will attempt to build on anything positive.

For the first time in four games they topped the 40.0 percent shooting mark at 43.2 on Monday. Thaddeus Young scored 23 and rookie Michael Carter-Williams added 15 with 13 rebounds for Philadelphia, which led 88-85 with 1:55 left to play before the Pacers closed on a 14-2 run.

"We were right there until the last two minutes of the game," Young, averaging 22.7 points in three games, told the 76ers' official website. "We just have to come out, execute better, and get ourselves out of the mud."

Philadelphia also has dropped a team-high 16 straight at home, tying for the second-longest such skid in NBA history and nearing Dallas' record 19-game slide in 1993-94. The 76ers have averaged 90.3 points in their last four at home and shot 38.5 percent over the past three.

However, one of their eight home victories came against Chicago, 107-104 on Nov. 2. It was the last of Philadelphia's three straight wins to open the season.

The Bulls (37-30) had little trouble avenging that defeat Jan. 18, shooting 48.8 percent, pulling down 52 rebounds and limiting the 76ers to a 2-of-19 effort from 3-point range in a 103-78 home rout.

All-Star Joakim Noah had 21 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks in that contest. However, he scored nine on 2-of-8 shooting while adding 12 boards and nine assists as Chicago concluded a 3-3 homestand with a 97-85 loss to Oklahoma City on Monday.

The Bulls, who beat Miami and Houston during that home stretch, shot 34.5 percent but got within one early in the fourth quarter before the Thunder pulled away with a 13-0 run.

"I would have liked it better if we won a couple more games, but 3-3, we'll take it," said Noah, who averaged 16.8 points and 56.4 percent shooting in the previous five contests.

"We've just got to move forward."

Noah has scored at least 21 points three times in the last four games against the 76ers, but had 10 on Nov. 2 while being pressured by center Spencer Hawes, who is now with the Cavaliers.

Carter-Williams had 26 points and 10 assists in the home meeting with the Bulls.