Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Growing pains were expected and the Philadelphia 76ers are a loss away from a dubious distinction.
The hope is that the drastic rebuild will eventually lead to what the San Antonio Spurs did last season.
But that possibility is in the far distant future.
Kawhi Leonard had 26 points, 10 rebounds and four assists as the Tim Duncan and Tony Parker-less Spurs defeated the Sixers 109-103 on Monday night.
Philly can tie the 2009-10 New Jersey Nets (0-18) for the worst start to an NBA season when it travels to Minnesota to play the Timberwolves on Wednesday night.
The Sixers, of course, endured an NBA-record 26-game losing streak last season en route to a 19-63 campaign.
San Antonio, which played Sunday, sat Duncan and Parker for rest purposes. Tiago Splitter didn't suit up due to calf tightness.
Aron Baynes posted 15 points and nine boards, Manu Ginobili netted 14 points and Cory Joseph added 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Spurs, who have won eight in a row and 11 of their last 12 games.
"It's hard to come out there, night after night, and not get the wins. I've seen teams at every level just give in and give up. These guys came after us with everything," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of the Sixers.
Michael Carter-Williams tallied 24 points, 11 rebounds and seven helpers to lead Philadelphia, which set its franchise record for most losses to start a season Saturday.
"The first half was not played with much energy," Sixers coach Brett Brown said. "We had no juice."
The Sixers have held just four leads in the fourth quarter this season.
Henry Sims capped a 6-0 run to pull Philly within 101-96 with 1:33 left, but Leonard's three-point play with 42.7 seconds remaining essentially sealed the outcome.
Baynes and Leonard put up four quick points apiece as San Antonio raced out to a 10-2 advantage before settling for a 27-20 cushion following a quarter of play.
A 15-5 surge to begin the second quarter staked the Spurs to a 42-25 margin and they took a 61-46 spread into the break.
It was 84-73 in favor of San Antonio heading into the final frame.
San Antonio held a 52-42 rebounding margin ... Nerlens Noel missed the game for the Sixers due to a right hip flexor injury ... The Sixers scored 23 points off 15 San Antonio turnovers.