Harden’s 50 Point Game Sends 76ers Into Record Books

James Harden scored 50 points, helping the Houston Rockets complete a fourth quarter comeback and hand the 76ers their 27th straight loss, an NBA record.

James Harden's 50 points helped the Houston Rockets come back from a 4th quarter deficit | Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

James Harden’s 50 points helped the Houston Rockets come back from a 4th quarter deficit | Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers have set the NBA record for the longest losing streak in NBA history, dropping their 27th game in a row tonight with a 116-114 loss to the Houston Rockets.

The record includes a ten game losing streak that ended the Sixers 2014-15 season.

The Sixers held a 104-97 lead with 6:41 remaining before the Rockets retook the lead with a 10-0 run.

For the Sixers it was the fourth straight game in which they held a fourth quarter lead and the fifth time that’s happened in the last seven.

The Sixers were led by 28 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 8 steals from Robert Covington. Covington shot 6-9 from three point range on the night and is averaging 19.5 points per game over his last four contests. He was joined by Isaiah Canaan (23 points, 4-10 from three) and Jerami Grant (18 points, 3-7 from three).

Sixers center Jahlil Okafor struggled against Houston center Dwight Howard, shooting just 4-12 from the field for his 11 points. Okafor scored just two points in the second half.

The game was easily the best offensive performance of the season for the Sixers, despite their late-game struggles. Their 114 points were the most they scored this season, easily eclipsing their previous high, which was 103 against the Toronto Raptors.

As a team the Sixers shot 45.7% (16-35) from three point range on the night. They made 16 three pointers, a franchise record.

For all the Sixers did offensively, their defense did them in. Houston scored 116 on the night, including 50 points from James Harden. Harden was one point away from tying his career high of 51, which he achieved last year against the Sacramento Kings. It was the 20th 40+ point game in Harden’s seven year NBA career.

The Sixers now sit at 0-17 on the season, one loss away from tying the record for the worst start in NBA history. That record is currently held by the (then) New Jersey Nets, who started the 2009-10 season off by losing 18 straight. The Sixers can tie that record Sunday night in Memphis.

Should that happen, the Sixers will return home to take on the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, December 1st, to try to avoid setting yet another NBA record of futility. According to TeamRankings.com, Tuesday’s game is the only game this season that the Sixers are currently favored to win.

Derek Bodner covers the 76ers for Philadelphia magazine’s new Sixers Post. Follow @DerekBodnerNBA on Twitter.