The Miami Heat appear to have temporarily lost their identity during a rare losing streak.
To avoid drifting closer to the longest skid in the Big Three era, they'll have to knock off the Philadelphia 76ers, who stunned them at the beginning of the season.
The Heat try to avoid their first four-game losing streak in three years Friday night at Philadelphia.
Miami's skid is its first of three games since Jan 10-13, 2012, and it hasn't lost four straight since dropping five in a row from Feb. 27-March 8, 2011, its longest losing streak since LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined forces with Dwyane Wade.
The Heat are averaging 94.7 points over the last three games - 9.4 less than their season average - while surrendering 106.7 - 13.7 more than their previous three games. They're also allowing opponents to shoot 51.4 percent - including 39.4 from 3-point range - during the skid.
"We need to get connected," coach Erik Spoelstra said after Wednesday's 114-97 loss at Washington. "It's not a matter of knowing what we do, knowing where to go. It's a matter of connecting and doing it.
"We have to own it. We can't just slide this one under the rug. That won't benefit us."
Wednesday's result snapped a 22-game winning streak against divisional opponents for Miami (27-11) and wasn't a performance becoming of a team welcomed at the White House a day earlier for winning back-to-back championships. The Heat fell behind early due to a 20-0 first quarter run and trailed by as much as 34.
"We love adversity more than anything," James said. "We're definitely at that point."
James is averaging 31.0 points over the last three games, though he's committed at least four turnovers in each. Miami is 18-2 when he has three or fewer turnovers compared to 8-9 when he commits at least four.
The Heat continue to deal with multiple injuries, playing without Chris Andersen (knee) and Mario Chalmers (strained Achilles) on Wednesday, and it's uncertain if they'll be cleared for Friday.
Wade scored eight points on 4-of-11 shooting in 33 minutes after sitting out last Friday's loss at Brooklyn.
Andersen's absence versus Washington created an opportunity for Greg Oden's first playing time in more than four years. The 2007 No. 1 overall pick had six points in eight minutes.
Miami had won 15 straight over the 76ers prior to a 114-110 loss in Philadelphia's home opener on Oct. 30. James scored 25 with a season-high 13 assists but was 1 of 6 in the fourth quarter, outshined by Michael Carter-Williams' 22 points, 12 assists and nine steals in his debut.
Carter-Williams scored 20 and assisted on Thaddeus Young's go-ahead 3-pointer with 3.2 seconds left in Wednesday's 95-92 win over Charlotte, ending a four-game losing streak for the 76ers (13-25).
"You find those (wins) from time to time to help promote what you're doing," coach Brett Brown said as his team won despite committing 24 turnovers. "They work hard. They really invest time. They completely get along."
Ray Allen is 3 of 23 from the field during Miami's skid, including a 1-of-12 clip from beyond the arc. He scored a season-high 19 and was 4 of 9 from long distance versus Philadelphia.
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