PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers turned down their dubious date with destiny Saturday night, beating the Detroit Pistons 123-98 to end an NBA-record-tying 26-game losing streak.
Guard Michael Carter-Williams and forward Thaddeus Young each scored 21 points and center Henry Sims added 16 for the 76ers (16-57), who built leads of 19 at halftime and 30 after three quarters in cruising to their first victory since Jan. 29.
In all, five players cracked double figures for Philadelphia, which shot 52.2 percent and limited Detroit to 38.8 percent shooting while forcing 18 turnovers. They also out-rebounded the Pistons 46-44 after getting hammered on the boards in three losses to Detroit earlier this season.
A defeat Saturday would have not only allowed the 76ers to break the league record they now share with the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers, it would have also established a mark for futility in the four major American sports. The NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers also dropped 26 in a row in 1976-77.
Finally, the 76ers ended their home losing streak at 18. The NBA record is 19 by the 1993-94 Dallas Mavericks.
Center/forward Greg Monroe collected 20 points and 10 rebounds for Detroit (26-47), which lost three straight, eight of nine and 18 of 22. Guard Rodney Stuckey scored 17 points, and guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 16.
From the outset the 76ers were the aggressor, turning misses and turnovers by the Pistons into fast-break opportunities. They took the lead for good 4:41 into the game at 10-8, and never looked back.
Carter-Williams set the tone with five points and two assists in the first seven minutes. By the end of the opening quarter he had 11 points and Philadelphia owned a 33-23 advantage.
Detroit was twice within eight in the second quarter, and the gap was 61-51 before the 76ers scored the first half’s last nine points.
It was the most points the 76ers scored in any half this season. Carter-Williams had 17 while Young added 12.
Monroe and Stuckey had 10 each for Detroit.
Philadelphia continued to pour it on in the third quarter, courtesy of one highlight-worthy play after another. Early on, Sims converted Young’s feed into a layup, and backup center Jarvis Varnado twice dunked during an 8-0 spree later in the period, each time off feeds from backup guard Tony Wroten.
The lead, which was as much as 32 in the quarter, was 98-68 by the time it ended.
NOTES: Pistons G Brandon Jennnings was ejected after drawing two technical fouls with 1:18 left in the first quarter, and forward Josh Smith was slapped with a technical foul with 2:46 left in the second quarter. … Pistons coach John Loyer said before the game that there was no added pressure from facing a team on an extended losing streak. “It’s part of the nature of the game,” he said. “You just play tonight. No matter who you’re playing you’ve just got to forget the last one. You’ve got to move on to the next one and play the next team on our schedule.” … Sixers F Byron Mullens will not play because of a sprained left knee.
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