Basketball - Sixers sink to record-breaking low with defeat to Rockets

The Philadelphia 76ers etched their name in the NBA record book of shame by dropping their 26th consecutive game in a 120-98 loss to the Houston Rockets.

Basketball - Sixers sink to record-breaking low with defeat to Rockets

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Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) gets a rebound during the third quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Toyota Center (Reuters)

Rockets 120, 76ers 98

The 76ers (15-57) matched the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers for the longest losing sequence in the four major North American professional sports leagues.

Philadelphia showed plenty of spirit to erase a 14-point deficit and draw level at 43-43 midway through the second quarter but Houston closed the half with a 20-6 run and pulled away.

The Rockets (49-22) stretched their home-court winning streak to 11 games and finished 15-0 at Toyota Center against the Eastern Conference, becoming the first team since the 2004-05 Dallas Mavericks to complete a home schedule undefeated against an entire conference.

Rockets guard James Harden posted his second career triple-double, achieving the feat by grabbing his 10th rebound just prior to the buzzer sounding at the end of the third quarter.

Harden finished with 26 points and 10 assists, and along with center Dwight Howard (17 points, 13 rebounds), he led the charge toward a comfortable margin as the first half concluded.

The 76ers' last victory came on January 29, a 95-94 decision over the Boston Celtics, and they next play against the Detroit Pistons at home on Saturday.

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Clippers 109, Mavericks 103

All-Star point guard Chris Paul bounced back from his worst shooting performance of his career to pop the Dallas Mavericks for 31 points and nine assists as the Los Angeles Clippers rallied late in the final two minutes in a 109-103 victory.

Dallas led 101-97 with 1:46 to go but were out-scored 12-2 over the remainder of the game, capped by two Paul free throws with 12.6 seconds left.

The loss represents the third consecutive painful defeat to Los Angeles for Dallas this season but this one could ultimately cost the Mavs (43-30) a playoff berth with nine games left in the regular season.

The defeat put the Mavs out of the playoff picture, half a game behind the Phoenix Suns and a full game behind the Memphis Grizzlies.

They wasted a vintage, 23-point performance from guard Vince Carter.

The Clippers (51-22), who are fighting for the third seed with the Houston Rockets, got nine points from Paul in the final quarter.

Forward Blake Griffin finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and two blocks.

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Trail Blazers 100, Hawks 85

The Portland Trail Blazers are getting healthy just in time but the same cannot be said for the reeling Atlanta Hawks.

Portland forward LaMarcus Aldridge returned from a seven-game absence with a big night, leading the Blazers past the Hawks 100-85.

Aldridge scored a game-high 25 points and pulled down 16 rebounds in 32 minutes of action.

The ailing Hawks, who were without guard Kyle Korver (back) and center Pero Antic (ankle), got very little going on the inside and got off to a cold start from the outside, missing eight of their first nine three-point attempts.

They were down 53-37 at halftime.

The Blazers (46-27) are one of four teams within two games of each other for the last four spots in the Western Conference.

Portland began the night in fifth, four games behind the Houston Rockets for the fourth spot.

The Hawks (31-40) began the night with a two-game lead over the New York Knicks for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

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Bucks 108, Lakers 105

Point guard Brandon Knight scored 30 points as the Milwaukee Bucks held off the Los Angeles Lakers for a 108-105 victory.

The Bucks led by as many as 12 in the final quarter but had to sweat out the final minute as Lakers swingman Kent Bazemore sank a 26-foot three-pointer with two seconds left.

Guard Ramon Sessions missed the front end of two free throws with 0.6 seconds left and on the Lakers' (24-46) last gasp, guard Nick Young's 27-footer was blocked and the Bucks escaped with the victory.

Sessions finished with 22 and Khris Middleton added 14 for Milwaukee (14-58).

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