Published March 08, 2014
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia 76ers will try again to notch a victory under their belt when they host the just-as-bad Utah Jazz Saturday at Wells Fargo Center.
It has been a rough ride for the Sixers this season, as they are just 15-46 and have lost a season-high 15 straight games. They lost 15 in a row back in 1994 and haven't dropped 16 straight since a 20-game drought from Jan. 9 - Feb. 11, 1973.
Philadelphia is scheduled to play four of the next five games at home and is winless in the last 12 contests in the City of Brotherly Love. The 12-game home slide is tied for the longest from Dec. 9, 1996-Jan. 24, 1997.
The losing trend continued for the Sixers with a 125-92 defeat at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who were led by Kevin Durant's 42 points and Russell Westbrook's triple-double of 13 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds in less than 21 minutes.
"He is just so physically gifted and he is so competitive," Sixers head coach Brett Brown said of Westbrook. "There's an angry competitor that wills his way into doing stuff. And so you saw those physical abilities along with just such a strong mind, it's a powerful combination."
James Anderson had 20 points, Byron Mullens netted 15 and rookie Michael Carter-Williams scored 14 points for the Sixers, who shot 34 percent and watched the Thunder connect on 56.6 percent of their shots.
The 76ers have gone 3-25 since a season-best four-game winning streak from Dec. 29-Jan. 4 and last tasted victory on Jan. 29 in a buzzer-beater at Boston. They are last in opponents' scoring at 111.0 ppg and 11-43 when allowing 100 or more points.
After hosting Utah, the Sixers, who are 8-23 at home and have lost 18 of 20 games in south Philly, will visit the New York Knicks on Monday at Madison Square Garden.
Utah has lost the first five games on its six-game eastern trip, which concludes in the City of Brotherly Love. It has dropped eight of the last 10 games and suffered a 108-81 setback at New York on Friday, as Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks scored 18 points apiece.
Richard Jefferson was the other double-digit scorer with 12 points for Utah, which was down early and trailed 39-22 after the first quarter. The Jazz did keep it close for the next three quarters, but the opening 12 minutes did too much damage.
"You can't ease your way into a game," said Jefferson. "You have to come out with energy and with a ferocity."
Utah will start a three-game homestand Monday versus Atlanta, Dallas and the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Jazz are just 7-25 away from Salt Lake City and have dropped six in a row as the visitor. Utah is posting 94.4 points this season and allowing 100.7 ppg, and hope to take advantage of Philadelphia's inept defense. The Sixers aren't much of a scoring team either with 99.8 ppg.
The Jazz defeated the Sixers by a 105-100 score in Salt Lake City on Feb. 12 thanks to Burks' 26 points off the bench. Carter-Williams and Thaddeus Young scored 19 points apiece in that one for the Sixers, losers in 10 of the past 13 meetings between the teams.
Utah has lost three straight after winning its last three in Philly.