But this time the Sixers refused to lose again, and they pushed back with their defense down the stretch. They held Houston without another field goal for more than five minutes, and Jrue Holiday's dunk after Thaddeus Young stole the ball from Houston's (21-17) James Harden (29 points) with just under a minute to play capped an 8-1 Sixers' run.
Holiday led all the Sixers with 30 points. He also finished with nine assists. Young added 18 points and 12 rebounds, and Jason Richardson finished with 16 for the Sixers (16-22), who won for the first time since beating the Los Angeles Lakers on New Year's Day.
Trying to locate their failing offense of late, the Sixers scored a season-high 58 points in the first half and led the Rockets, 58-50, as Evan Turner (12 points, six assists, seven rebounds) and Holiday, who did not play in the first meeting between these teams due to a sprained left foot, combined for 25 first-half points.
The Sixers got out to the kind of start that recently hasn't boded well for them and trailed by 11 points with 4 minutes, 45 seconds remaining in the first quarter. But the Sixers closed the quarter on a 20-5 run and led, 29-24, at the start of the second.
Before Saturday, the Sixers' last five losses came by an average of 18.2 points. And they have been particularly bad in the second half of those games, getting outscored 274-201.
The Sixers have yet to establish any type of identity at home this season. However, they will have this opportunity. They play just one more road game this month - at Milwaukee on Jan. 22 - and beginning with Tuesday's game against New Orleans they'll play 11 of their next 12 at home.
This isn't exactly a reason to be optimistic, though, because over the last month as they have stumbled the Sixers, with no post game to speak of and a defense that has recently been nonexistent, have become that team that others see on the schedule and come into their home building with confidence.
Additionally, the upcoming schedule isn't littered with pushovers. The Sixers will get visits from teams like San Antonio, New York, Memphis and the emerging Los Angeles Clippers.
Contact John N. Mitchell at email@example.com. Follow @JmitchInquirer on Twitter