CHICAGO (AP) — The Philadelphia 76ers’ long losing streak continued and so did their march toward the wrong kind of record.
Joakim Noah finished with 20 points, Jimmy Butler scored 17, and the Chicago Bulls handed Philadelphia its 24th straight loss, winning 91-81 Saturday night and sending the 76ers within two of the NBA record.
The Sixers moved ahead of the Vancouver Grizzlies (1995-96), Denver Nuggets (1997-98) and Charlotte Bobcats (2011-12) for the second-longest, single-season losing streak.
The Cleveland Cavaliers dropped 26 during the 2010-11 season, and Philadelphia would have to pull off an upset to avoid tying that.
The next two games are at San Antonio and Houston. Drop them, and the Sixers could set the record at home against Detroit on March 29, particularly if they continue to shoot like this from the outside.
They missed their first 18 3-pointers before Byron Mullens made one early in the fourth and were 1 of 20 in the game.
Despite that, they hung in until Taj Gibson buried a jumper and D.J. Augustin nailed a 3 with 2:30 remaining. That made it 91-79 and sealed the win for the Bulls, who moved into a tie for third in the Eastern Conference with Toronto.
Noah and Butler each had eight rebounds, with Butler dishing out six assists. Gibson came on strong in the fourth quarter to finish with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Augustin added 16 points and six assists, and the Bulls came away with the win after losing at Indiana the previous night.
Thaddeus Young scored 28 for Philadelphia. Henry Sims added 18 points and 15 rebounds, but the Sixers remained winless since Jan. 29.
It didn’t help that they were missing Tony Wroten, one of their few bright spots in this lost season. He sprained his right ankle in Friday’s one-point loss at home to the New York Knicks and did not travel with the team.
Notes: Coach Brett Brown said Wroten will miss all three games on the trip. … Brown had high praise for Noah before the game, saying he hopes Nerlens Noel develops like him. “Every time I see Joakim, I hope I see what we’re going to get in Nerlens,” Brown said. “He’s one of the prime examples I point to as we try and groom a young player.” Noel was taken with the sixth pick in the draft last spring despite a torn ACL in his left knee. He has not played this season.
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