Slumping 76ers aim to stop skid at Orlando
The Philadelphia 76ers have played competitively over the last four games, but it hasn't been good enough for a win.
The Sixers are also mired in a 12-game road losing streak and look to stop the bleeding Sunday against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center.
Philadelphia faced a daunting task of trying to stop the white-hot Miami Heat Friday and played well. However, the Heat showed why they're one of the best in the business and pulled out a 102-93 triumph for their 17th win in a row. The 76ers led by a 60-51 margin at one point until Miami battled back and later grabbed a 65-64 lead on Chris Bosh's 3-point play.
Miami then pulled itself out of a 71-67 hole and All-Star LeBron James hit a big 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter for a 76-75 edge.
"I think that's what got (James) going, and they just kind of jumped on us in the fourth," Sixers forward Thaddeus Young said of the buzzer-beating three. "They got some easy looks that were just too easy."
Young matched James with a game-best 25 points, Dorell Wright scored 14 off the bench and Spencer Hawes added 13 and 10 rebounds. Hawes, though, went cold in the second half for a Sixers squad that has dropped 11 of 12 games. The 12- game road slide is the longest in a season since a 20-game drought in 1987-88.
Philadelphia is only 3-21 in its last 24 road contests and 6-22 overall as the visitor this season. It hasn't posted a winning road mark since going 23-18 back in the 2002-03 campaign.
The Sixers' last win as the guest was on New Year's Day against the Lakers. After visiting the Magic, Philly will head home for four straight games versus Brooklyn, Miami, Indiana and Portland. The 76ers are one of the worst scoring teams in the league with 92.2 ppg.
Orlando, which averages 94.1 ppg, has been struggling as well with 10 losses in its last 12 games.
The Magic opened a three-game homestand with Friday's 115-86 setback to the Indiana Pacers as Arron Afflalo scored 19 points to lead the way and Nikola Vucevic and Beno Udrih tallied 12 points apiece.
Orlando shot 39 percent from the field, went 5-of-15 from beyond the arc and turned the ball over 21 times, leading to 30 Indiana points. The Pacers didn't look past the Magic for their bout with Miami Sunday.
"They just played harder than us today," Magic forward Tobias Harris said of the Central-leading Pacers.
The Magic are 9-24 at home and will wrap up the residency Tuesday versus the Lakers. They are winless in seven straight as the host.
The Magic and 76ers have split two matchups this season with both games in the City of Brotherly Love. Orlando has won seven of nine and 15 of the past 18 meetings against the Sixers.
Philadelphia has lost three straight and nine of its last 10 trips to central Florida.