Warriors-76ers Preview

The Philadelphia 76ers are riding their worst losing streak in

three seasons.

It’s starting to look like oft-injured center Andrew Bynum won’t

be able to help them get back on track anytime soon – if ever.

The 76ers try to avoid an eighth consecutive loss on Saturday

night when the slumping Golden State Warriors look to end their

trip on a positive note.

Philadelphia (22-34) was hoping to challenge for an Atlantic

Division title and make another playoff run after acquiring Bynum

and former Warriors Jason Richardson in the same four-team

offseason deal, but Bynum hasn’t played due to knee issues and

Richardson won’t suit up again in 2012-13 after undergoing surgery

on his left knee last month.

Surgery could be the next option for Bynum, who admitted for the

first time on Friday that he might not play this season because of

swelling in his right knee. The two-time All-Star will be an

unrestricted free agent after making $16.5 million this season.

“I think being healthy is more important than everything else,”

Bynum said. “If I am healthy, I’ll get a deal. I have to be able to

play and I need to get to the point with my body where I’m able to

play, however long that takes.”

Bynum’s return appears less likely as each day passes, so all

the 76ers can do at this point is try to regroup from Thursday’s

93-82 loss at Chicago and start chipping away at the six-game lead

eighth-place Milwaukee has over them in the Eastern race.

Standing in their way on Saturday will be a Warriors team

currently sixth in the West.

“They’re one of the surprise teams this year,” 76ers coach Doug

Collins said after Friday’s practice. “(Coach) Mark Jackson has

done a nice job with them.”

Golden State (33-26), though, is winless since opening its

five-game trip on Sunday with a third consecutive victory, 100-99

over Minnesota.

“I give them credit, they defended, but we missed shots,”

Jackson after the Warriors had their second-worst shooting

performance of the season (34.0 percent) in Friday’s 94-86 loss to

Boston.

Point guard Stephen Curry missed 16 of 22 field-goal attempts,

but he hit all 10 of his free throws to finish with 25 points. Two

days earlier, Curry had career highs of 11 3-pointers and 54 points

in a 109-105 loss to New York.

Collins raved about that effort – that came as no surprise as

he’s watched his team shoot 41.4 percent and average 88.3 points

since its last win – but he’s equally concerned about keeping David

Lee and Carl Landry off the boards.

Lee, who returned from a one-game suspension on Friday and

posted his NBA-best 38th double-double with 10 points and 19

rebounds, had team highs with 25 points and 12 rebounds in a 96-89

victory over Philadelphia on Dec. 28. Landry added 15 points and 11

boards to help Golden State win the rebounding battle 52-43.

The Warriors, who open a season-high seven-game homestand on

Monday against Toronto, have lost four straight in

Philadelphia.

All-Star guard Jrue Holiday, who had 21 points and 10 assists in

the December loss in Oakland, leads the 76ers with 17.7 points and

7.1 assists per game during their slide.

Philadelphia is enduring its longest losing streak since an 0-12

stretch that ended with a 117-101 home win over Golden State on

Dec. 14, 2009.