(SportsNetwork.com) - The stage has been set for the battle of futility, as the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers get together Easter Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks have lost nine straight and are an NBA-worst 14-62 on the season. The 76ers are also in the hunt for plenty of ping-pong balls in the lottery draft at 18-59 and have dropped five in a row.
New York is winless in its last five games at MSG and will begin the final homestand of the season tonight versus Philadelphia, Indiana and Milwaukee. The losing ways continued for the Knicks in Friday's 101-87 setback in Washington, as Ricky Ledo scored a game-high 21 points off the bench.
Quincy Acy and Shane Larkin scored 14 points apiece for the Knicks, who were down, 30-10, after the first 12 minutes of action. The Knicks fought back, but by then it was too late.
"It's tough because we felt like we came back and gained momentum going into halftime," Ledo said. "We have to hold teams to lower point totals than that."
The Wizards have won seven straight against the Knicks.
Knicks forward Cleanthony Early (ankle) is doubtful Sunday.
New York has a 9-28 record as the host this season and is averaging just 91.8 points per game.
Philadelphia is the only team worse than the Knicks in scoring, posting an average of only 91.6 ppg.
The Sixers suffered their fifth loss in the row on Saturday in a tough 92-91 defeat at the hands of the Charlotte Hornets. Gerald Henderson's go-ahead layup with six seconds left was enough to lift the hosts to victory, while Ish Smith's driving left-handed scoop at the other end was off the mark.
Smith posted 15 points, nine rebounds and five assists, while Robert Covington supplied 15 points and six boards for Philadelphia, which has dropped seven of its last eight games and fell to 6-33 on the road.
"I have no complaints," said Sixers coach Brett Brown.
Philadelphia is 0-2 on a three-game jaunt and has lost 19 of the last 20 games as the guest. It will host Washington on Wednesday.
Sixers rookie forward Nerlens Noel played just 10 minutes Saturday and finished with two points and two rebounds. He suffered a cut above his right eye and is questionable against the Atlantic-rival Knicks.
"He got hit pretty good. His right eye is swollen, and his vision is blurry," Brown said. "You can see the cut, but he received no stitches. He has had ice on it, but it is still swelling, and I am not sure about him for tomorrow."
The 76ers are 1-2 against the Knicks this season and stopped a four-game skid in this series with a 97-81 victory on March 20 in south Philly.
New York is still l2-4 in the last 16 games between the teams. Noel is averaging 20.0 points and 13.0 rebounds in two games against New York.