By Sam Bush
The Sixers treated their night-before-Thanksgiving crowd at the Wells Fargo Center to a treat:
For only the fifth time all year, they lost by single digits.
The Brooklyn Nets needed a big fourth quarter from Alan Anderson to send the Sixers to their 15th straight loss.
Anderson scored 10 of his 12 points in the final period, and Brooklyn beat Philly 99-91 to extend their record to 0-15 — matching a franchise record.
Philly rallied from a 20-point deficit in the first half to take the lead early in the fourth quarter, but Anderson and Mirza Teletovic stepped up down the stretch for the Nets. Teletovic had six of his nine points in the fourth.
“You can say, ‘This team is winless,'” Nets coach Lionel Hollins said. “But they are still NBA players and they still compete. Unfortunately, they don’t have any wins yet and we’re glad they didn’t get one against us.”
Joe Johnson had 21 points and Brook Lopez scored 19 for Brooklyn (6-8), which won for just the second time in eight games. Deron Williams added 17 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.
Lopez was a member of the 2009-10 Nets team that set the NBA mark for consecutive losses to start the season with 18, and he knew the 76ers would keep battling.
“They are all NBA teams,” he said. “I know what it’s like to go out there every night trying to get a win, so you’ve got to keep playing.”
K.J. McDaniels and Tony Wroten (photo above) scored 18 apiece for Philly, which matched the 1972-73 Sixers that started with 15 losses on their way to setting an NBA record for fewest wins in an 82-game schedule at 9-73.
“I see good things,” coach Brett Brown said. “It’s unfortunate for those guys. I bleed for those guys that they can’t get a win to validate the work they have put in.”
Philly will try again for its first win when it hosts Dallas on Saturday. Then the Sixers get San Antonio at home on Monday and travel to Minnesota for a Dec. 3 game before returning home to play the Thunder.
The Sixers became the eighth team in NBA history to begin the season with at least 15 straight losses. Only four teams ever have started with more than 15 straight defeats.
“I thought we came out here and did a good job,” Philly’s Nerlens Noel said. “We were down sometimes, but we showed our resilience just coming back and playing hard to get back in the game.”
The Sixers opened the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run to grab their first lead at 74-72 with 10:25 remaining. The run was capped by Noel’s alley-oop dunk off a pass from Michael Carter-Williams.
But Brooklyn re-took the lead on Teletovic’s layup that made it 76-74 with 9:40 left. Williams made a jumper with 2:48 to play to increase the Nets’ advantage to 90-83.
The 76ers got as close as two and had the ball with chance to tie or go ahead with a minute left, but Wroten threw the ball away. Kevin Garnett hit a 19-footer on Brooklyn’s ensuing possession to make it 93-89 with 32.8 seconds left.
Brooklyn scored the first nine points of the second half to go up 58-41 on Bojan Bogdanovic’s layup. But Philadelphia outscored the Nets 26-14 in the final 8:58 of the third quarter to pull within five heading into the final period.