Sixers fall to Bulls, bringing losing streak to 24

Posted: March 24, 2014

CHICAGO - The losing has been long, painful, and often embarrassing.

Now, it's close to being historic.

The 76ers are two losses away from tying the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers' record for futility.

The Sixers' losing streak reached 24 games on Saturday as Joakim Noah scored 20 points to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 91-81 victory at the United Center. The Sixers (15-55) have the second-longest losing streak in NBA history behind Cleveland. They have yet to win since former teammate Evan Turner hit a buzzer-beater at Boston on Jan. 29 and have dropped a mind-boggling 34 of 37.

"At the end of the day, we are going to get over the hump," Thaddeus Young said about snapping the losing streak. "We've just got to figure out how to make shots at crucial moments in the game and execute and just go out there and be ready."

As has been the case most of the season, the Sixers were doomed by poor shooting.

They missed their first 18 three-point attempts and finished 1 for 20 from beyond the arc. The league record for three-point futility is 0 for 22 by the Denver Nuggets last season against the Portland Trail Blazers. In all, the Sixers shot 34.5 percent from the field.

"We were 1 for 20. What do you say?" Sixers coach Brett Brown said. "I thought our defense was really quite good. It's always going to be hard [to win] if you can't make perimeter shots. And this group has struggled doing that.

"So finding wins and finding ways to stay in games is always going to be a challenge."

Two bright spots were Young's game-high 28 points and seven rebounds, and Henry Sims' all-around game.

Young, however, went 0 for 7 on three-pointers.

Sims finished with 18 points, 15 rebounds, and 2 blocked shots to record a double-double for the second consecutive night. It was the second-year player's third double-double of his career. All three have come since the 6-foot-10, 248-pounder was acquired in a trade with the Cavaliers on Feb. 20.

"I'm definitely proud of myself," Sims said. "But I want to win. That's nice and all. But it would be even 10 times better if we win the game."

The Sixers took full advantage of the Bulls' shooting woes - early on.

Chicago was missing everything - three-pointers, mid-range shots, even bunnies - en route to shooting 32.4 percent (12 for 37) in the first half.

But the Bulls took their first lead of the game, 39-38, on D.J. Augustin's three-pointer with 1 minute, 28 seconds left in the half. The Bulls never surrendered the lead.

Noah, an all-star center, also finished with eight rebounds and three blocked shots. Jimmy Butler (17 points), Augustin (16), and Taj Gibson (16) were the Bulls' other double-digit scorers.

The Sixers were without Tony Wroten. The sixth man is missing this three-game road trip after spraining his right ankle Friday night against the New York Knicks.

Time's up? Saturday could have been Darius Johnson-Odom's last game as a Sixer, although the guard is confident he'll stick around.

But Sunday is the final day of the 6-foot-3, 212-pounder's 10-day contract with the team. The Sixers have the option to re-sign him to a second 10-day deal.

"We really haven't decided anything," Brown said before the game. "I think, out of fairness, I need to give him more opportunity, to make some level of decision."


kpompey@phillynews.com

@PompeyOnSixers

www.inquirer.com/deepsixer

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