Allen Iverson’s 10-year run with the Philadelphia 76ers ended
three years ago with the team in the midst of a 12-game losing
With one more defeat, his second stint with the Sixers will
begin the same way.
Philadelphia will try again to end the NBA’s longest active
losing streak as it continues a five-game homestand Friday night
against the Houston Rockets.
The Sixers had lost 11 straight when they traded Iverson – the
backbone of their franchise for the previous decade – to Denver on
Dec. 19, 2006. They eventually dropped a 12th consecutive game, and
they’ll have to beat Houston if they want to avoid matching that
The signing of Iverson, prompted by an injury to point guard Lou
Williams, hasn’t immediately helped. The 38-year-old is just 7 of
21 from the field in his first two games, with the Sixers (5-17)
averaging 84.5 points in a pair of home losses.
They lost 90-86 on Wednesday to an injury-depleted Detroit team
that was lacking Ben Gordon, Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun
“It’s going to have to be one of the best games ever from us in
order to win,” Iverson said.
Philadelphia also hoped the return of Iverson would boost ticket
sales, and the team sold out the Wachovia Center for the first time
this season in his debut on Monday.
But just 12,136 fans watched Wednesday’s loss as the Sixers fell
to 3-7 at home. Their average of fewer than 13,000 fans is among
the lowest in the NBA.
“It’s going to get better,” Iverson said. “This is one of these
times when you find out what type of character you have as
The Rockets (12-9) have shown resilience this season while
playing without injured stars Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, and their
7-5 road record includes impressive victories over the Los Angeles
Lakers and Utah.
Houston has won four of five overall and is coming off a 95-85
home victory over Cleveland on Wednesday night, as the team got big
performances from leading scorers Trevor Ariza and Aaron
Brooks had 27 points and Ariza added 26 on 11-of-19 shooting.
Ariza had been 31 of 91 (34.1 percent) from the field in his
previous five games.
“It was real big for me to get my confidence back up so that my
teammates give me the ball again,” Ariza told the Rockets’ official
Web site. “It feels good. I’m happy that I’m starting to come out
of this little slump I was in. Once one or two go in, you feel like
the rim is huge and that’s how I felt tonight.”
The Rockets also held the Cavs to 40.0 percent shooting, with
LeBron James going 8 of 21. Houston has struggled defensively at
times, but its last six opponents are averaging just 92.0
“I don’t think too many people have talked about our defense so
far, so it’s nice to point to (Wednesday’s) game as an example of
what we’re capable of doing when we really focus on defense,”
forward Shane Battier said.
The Sixers have been able to score on Houston lately, shooting
above 50 percent and averaging 102.5 points while winning four
straight against the Rockets over the last two seasons.