9-66 SIXERS HAVE ONLY 7 GAMES TO ESCAPE NBA PURGATORY!

By Martha Sullivan

The Sixers have only seven games left in this awful season, which means they have seven chances to win a game and escape the ignominy of tying their all-time NBA record for the worst record, 9-73.

Nicolas Batum had 19 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists for his second triple-double of the season, leading the Charlotte Hornets to a 100-85 victory over the Sixers last night at the Wells..

Cody Zeller added 18 points and 11 boards for Charlotte, which set a franchise record for wins in a month with its 13th victory in March.

Short-handed Philly, which dressed just 10 players, lost its 10th straight game and 23rd in the last 24.

Robert Covington (above) had 18 points for the Sixers.

The 76ers were playing without top big man Nerlens Noel, who missed his fourth straight game with a right knee contusion. Also out for the Sixers were forwards Jerami Grant (right knee/quad) and Richaun Holmes (Achilles’). Rookie Jahlil Okafor is sidelined for the season with a torn right meniscus.

The Sixers dropped to 9-66 and still can match the 1972-73 76ers, who finished 9-73, for the worst NBA record over an 82-game season. Of the 76ers’ seven remaining games, four are against teams that began play on Tuesday with losing records and out of the playoffs. Perhaps their best chance for a victory will coming next week when hosting the Pelicans (27-46), Knicks (30-45) and Bucks (30-44) in succession.

Kemba Walker drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 1.3 seconds remaining in the second quarter to give Charlotte a comfortable 16-point lead at the half. Philly never cut the deficit under 10 points in the second half.

Walker finished with 16 points.

Veteran forward Elton Brand, forced into action, had seven points and nine rebounds in 19 minutes. Brand showed his competitive drive by diving into the scorer’s table during one sequence, drawing cheers from 76ers fans.

Okafor was in the locker room on crutches before the game. . recently retired referee Joe Crawford was in attendance. . The Sixers attempted a season-high 43 3-pointers, making 16 of them.

 

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