Jazz-76ers Preview

The Associated Press

While the Philadelphia 76ers have dropped game after game without any end in sight, they appear to have as good a chance as any to finally break through Saturday night.

The 76ers try to avoid the second-longest losing streak in team history and a franchise-worst 13th consecutive home defeat as they face the last-place Utah Jazz, who have been especially bad on the road.

Philadelphia (15-46) hasn't seen anything go its way since a 95-94 win at Boston on Jan. 29, getting outscored by an average of 19.8 points during its 15-game skid. The 76ers haven't lost 16 in a row since a franchise-worst 20-game slide in 1972-73.

They have also dropped 12 straight at home, tying the longest drought in team history established in the 1996-97 season.

"There hasn't been a game that we've gone out to play that I didn't feel like we could steal one," coach Brett Brown said. "I think that this group has got some wins in them. Not many people do, I do. And it's not reflective of our schedule, I just think that if we can practice together and try to find some rallying card and some type of underdog label, I like that. I'm happy to wind our guys up and play that card and prove people wrong. We have more to give."

Philadelphia's woes continued in Tuesday's 125-92 loss at Oklahoma City. James Anderson had 20 points while going 6 of 12 from 3-point range, but the rest of the team was 4 of 18 from beyond the arc.

The 76ers shot just 34.0 percent, were outrebounded 57-38 and outscored 58-36 in the paint.

"It's tough losing. None of us in this locker room want to lose, but there's nothing we can do about the losses we've had," rookie Michael Carter-Williams told the team's official website. "When I go out there, I believe we're going to win the game no matter who we're playing."

The 76ers now turn their attention to Utah (21-41), which took this season's first meeting 105-100 at home Feb. 12. However, the Jazz have dropped three straight in Philadelphia by an average of 10.0 points.

The road hasn't been kind to Utah, which is 2-13 in its last 15 away from home. The Jazz's .219 road winning percentage is third-worst in the NBA.

Utah was blown out 108-81 at New York on Friday, dropping to 0-5 on its current six-game road trip. The Jazz, who have lost three of the five games by 20 or more points, are averaging 86.0 points while shooting 41.2 percent during the trek.

Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks finished with 18 points apiece against the Knicks, but Richard Jefferson was the only other player to score in double figures with 12. Marvin Williams and Trey Burke scored a combined seven while shooting 0 of 13 from 3-point range and 3 for 19 overall.

"I thought for two or three months we've played pretty steady basketball, right around .500 basketball. For us that was a step in the right direction," Jefferson said. "Now we're at the end of the season, you've got a lot of guys playing minutes that they've never played before. We can see fatigue, frustration. A lot of things are coming into play, but you've got to stick with it."

The Jazz are 2-24 on the road when allowing more than 93 points compared to 5-1 when they don't. Philadelphia is averaging 101.2 points at home.

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