Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia 76ers gave the Eastern Conference leaders their best shot, but it still wasn't enough to end what is now the longest losing streak in franchise history.
Lance Stephenson scored 25 points, Paul George added 24 and the Indiana Pacers used a late run to hand the Sixers yet another loss, 99-90, on Monday.
Philadelphia's current 21-game skid is the fifth longest in NBA history and is five away from matching the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers' record of 26.
"We look at it again (as) just another layer of learning and trying to forge our way through this season," first-year Sixers head coach Brett Brown said.
The Pacers, winners of four straight on the heels of a four-game slide, made up for a mediocre 38.3 percent shooting effort by making 31 of their 38 free throws. The Sixers, by comparison, connected on 11-of-20 from the stripe.
Thaddeus Young led the Sixers with 23 points, Hollis Thompson and Tony Wroten scored 17 apiece and Michael Carter-Williams checked in with 15 points, 13 rebounds and five assists.
The Sixers were within three twice in the fourth quarter, and Carter-Williams missed a potential tying 3-pointer with just over two minutes to play.
George Hill quickly put the Pacers on top 91-85 with a corner triple following the miss, and after Carter-Williams turned the ball over, Roy Hibbert pulled down an offensive rebound and got his putback to fall while being fouled.
The subsequent free throw made it a nine-point game with 1:23 showing, and a thunderous dunk by George over Henry Sims the next time down sealed Indiana's 50th win of the season.
"That's kind of been our trademark the past couple of years -- to win ugly. And we certainly won ugly tonight," Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said.
The Sixers actually led by as many as nine in the opening quarter and owned a 24-21 lead prior to the Pacers going off for 37 points in the second stanza.
Stephenson netted 11 points in the frame, which ended with the Pacers scoring 10 of the final 12 points to take a 58-50 cushion into the break.
Philadelphia went back in front midway through the third, but Indiana again finished strong behind an 8-2 run that made it 75-67 in favor of the hosts heading to the fourth.
The Sixers previously lost 20 straight during their nine-win 1972-73 campaign ... The Pacers won all three meetings this season and swept the series for the first time since going 4-0 in 2003-04 ... Philadelphia fell to 4-4 when holding opponents below 100 points ... Evan Turner, traded from Philadelphia to Indiana at the trade deadline, finished with four points and seven boards.