Knicks hand Sixers their 17th straight defeat

Thaddeus Young looks for operating room against the Knicks' Carmelo Anthony. Young finished with 18 points.
Thaddeus Young looks for operating room against the Knicks' Carmelo Anthony. Young finished with 18 points. (FRANK FRANKLIN II / Associated Press)
Posted: March 12, 2014

NEW YORK - Another night, another loss.

It was business as usual Monday for the tanking 76ers. This time, it was a 123-110 setback to the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

The loss dropped the Sixers to 15-48 and extended their losing streak to 17 games. That puts them three losses away from the franchise-record 20 straight defeats rung up by the infamous 1972-73 squad.

It also marked the Sixers' ninth straight double-digit loss.

"To be honest with you, I'm trying to not even think about it," Michael Carter-Williams said of the losing streak. "You know, we lose, it's on to the next game. I can't dwell on us losing 17 in a row. That's not doing anything for me. That's not doing anything for the team, for the coaching staff. Nobody.

"Whatever all the talk is about us losing 17 games and people writing about it, that's fine. We are going to stay focused as a team. And we are going to focus in on a win."

On the bright side, the rookie point guard recorded a triple-double with 23 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists. His final assist came on a long pass on Tony Wroten's basket with 2.2 seconds left.

Carter-Williams became the eighth player this season with more than one triple-double. His previous one came against the Orlando Magic on Dec. 3.

"We are going to see the numbers, and the numbers are the numbers," coach Brett Brown said. "But I think he's just continuing to grow, leadership-wise."

His performance, however, wasn't nearly enough to stop the Knicks (25-40) from winning their fourth consecutive game.

The Sixers kept things close through three quarters. But as Brown typically does to keep the starters fresh, he opened the fourth quarter with three reserves on the floor. This time, Jarvis Varnado, Elliot Williams, and Wroten were paired with starters James Anderson and Hollis Thompson.

The Knicks took full advantage.

They quickly outscored that Sixers unit, 10-2, before Brown called a timeout to reinsert starters Carter-Williams, Thaddeus Young, and Henry Sims with 9 minutes, 46 seconds left. The substitutions didn't make a difference.

"You blink and [the lead] sails out to 12 [points] and 14 and 16," Brown said. "And you have to come in with more experienced players. You probably come in too early and you burn every timeout you have to try to rest, whatever chance you have."

The Knicks' run stretched to 19-4 to give them a commanding 110-89 lead after rookie Tim Hardaway Jr.'s three-pointer with 7:38 remaining.

The reserve guard scored 13 of his game-high 28 points in the final quarter.

Wroten scored 23 points and Young added 18 for the Sixers.

New York played without center Tyson Chandler, who was attending to a personal matter.

Without Chandler, the Knicks moved Amar'e Stoudemire to center and Carmelo Anthony to power forward and started J.R. Smith in Anthony's small-forward spot.

Just like in the team's Jan. 11 meeting, the Sixers did not have an answer for Stoudemire. He finished with 23 points on 9-for-10 shooting. Anthony and Smith added 22 points apiece. Point guard Raymond Felton contributed 13 points, including three three-pointers.

"Tim Hardaway is a good player," Brown said. "He's far more than a shooter. Carmelo is Carmelo. You look around the gym and you have to pick your poison. They really have a lot of offensive power."


NEARING THE FUTILITY MARK

With 17 straight losses, the 76ers are closing in on the franchise record of 20 defeats in a row, set in 1972-73.

The NBA record of 26 straight losses, set by Cleveland in 2010-11, is safe for now.


kpompey@phillynews.com

@PompeyOnSixers

www.inquirer.com/deepsixer

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