Tobias Harris, Nikola Vucevic lead Magic past 76ers
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A miserable season just keeps getting worse for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Tobias Harris scored a career-high 31 points and the Orlando Magic beat the 76ers for the second time in less than a week, winning 92-81 Sunday night to extend Philadelphia’s losing streak to 14 games.
The 76ers’ skid is their longest since 1994, when they lost 15 straight, and includes a defeat last Monday to the Milwaukee Bucks, the NBA’s worst team. The 76ers have the NBA’s second-worst record, while the Magic have the third-worst.
Nikola Vucevic had 18 points and 17 rebounds for Orlando, which outscored Philadelphia 26-12 in the fourth quarter to earn the win.
"It was definitely my mindset to attack them, put pressure on their defense," Harris said. "When I saw gaps in their defense, I wanted to attack them. They were focusing a lot on Nik tonight, so I saw a lot of openings spacing-wise that I used to my advantage."
Both Orlando and Philadelphia have been clear that they are in rebuilding phases, and the 76ers traded two of their best players — center Spencer Hawes and guard-forward Evan Turner — on Feb. 20.
Philadelphia coach Brett Brown attributed the 76ers’ new-look lineup to their recent woes, pointing to it as a reason behind his squad’s spate of turnovers against Orlando.
"We had 19 turnovers and six came from our point guards," Brown said. "A lot of that happened when we had three of five guys on the court who have only been with each other four days. Our offense hurt us more than our defense.
"We were throwing the ball away or not knowing who to turn to. We poked ourselves in the eye with our turnovers. But give Orlando credit for raising the intensity in the fourth quarter and bothering us."
Thaddeus Young had 29 points for Philadelphia and Michael Carter-Williams added 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Both teams played road games the night before, which might have contributed to sloppy in a game that featured two of the league’s top rookies: Carter-Williams and Orlando’s Victor Oladipo.
Carter-Williams leads all NBA rookies in points, rebounds, assists, steals and minutes played, is a front-runner to win the Rookie of the Year award, with Oladipo closely following him.
Oladipo finished with nine points and Magic coach Jacque Vaughn admitted he’s monitoring Oladipo’s minutes out of concern for fatigue.
"I’ll gauge his minutes to see how he feels," Vaughn said. "But he’s been taking care of his body."
NOTES: Magic guards Jameer Nelson (sore calf) and Arron Afflalo (illness) were out with injuries. It was the fifth game in a row Afflalo has missed, three with a sprained ankle and two with illness. . The Magic have a 15-15 record at home, thanks to winning seven of their last eight. . In their 14-game losing streak, Philadelphia has lost by an average of 16.8 points, with 11 of 14 of those losses coming by double digits. … Even though the team that finishes with the league’s worst record increases its draft lottery chances, it’s no guarantee. The last team to finish with the worst record and secure the No. 1 pick was the Magic 10 years ago. They used that pick to select Dwight Howard.