The Houston Rockets did their level best to end the Philadelphia 76ers losing streak before they broke their own record, but in spite of all their efforts, even they couldn’t dissolve enough under pressure to give Philly fans a happy holiday. But it was not to be and the 76ers now are humble owners of the longest losing streak in the history of the four major American sports.
The Sixers trailed by 91-75 with less than three minutes left in the third, but they kept fighting all the way through the fourth. After all, this is the 2015-16 Rockets, who have been colossally disappointing.
In fact, they had the lead with less than six minutes left but couldn’t hold onto it. The Rockets took it from them with the pair of James Harden threes. Harden, overall, had a massive night with 50 points on 50 percent shooting from the field and from three. He also came close to a triple-double with nine boards and eight assists.
But he, too, tried to help the Sixers in their quest for a first win, missing three free consecutive throws down the stretch. However, with a series of back and forths, too ugly to describe without using graphic language, the Rockets managed to build a four-point lead with 6.1 seconds left.
The Rockets were not done trying to donate the game, though, the Holiday spirit clearly upon them. Corey Brewer fouled Hollis Thompson while attempting a three. But the generosity was not rewarded, and it did not become a four-point play. Thompson did make two of his three free throws, though, slicing the lead to two.
Harden, suddenly shooting free throws like Dwight Howard, missed one and so Philadelphia got the ball back down three. However, the Rockets fouled Covington, who made his first free throw, then intentionally missed the second with two seconds left.
Everyone scrambled for the board; Dwight Howard came down with it. The buzzer sounded. And that’s how, even the generous Rockets failed to donate a game to Philadelphia.