The Philadelphia 76ers have been doing just fine losing on their own without any help from their coach. On Friday night, he didn’t technically lose the game for them, but Brett Brown sure didn’t help.
The Sixers fell to 0-9 with an 88-87 loss to the Houston Rockets. With less than a minute left, though, Philly had a three-point lead and looked as if it just might win its first game a night after being blown out by 53 in Dallas.
But the Rockets’ James Harden stole a pass and then was fouled by Michael Carter-Williams as he drove to the basket. Harden might have leaned into Carter-Williams on the breakaway — which would be a veteran move — but the Rockets got the call.
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What Brown got was obviously more frustration, and when the ball bounced in his direction while he was standing on the court as play was stopped, Brown kicked it — an automatic technical foul.
A technical in a three-point game with 35.5 seconds left? Not great timing. Here’s how it looked:
GIF: Sixers coach Brett Brown gets a technical foul for kicking ball up 3 with less than a minute left in the game!! http://t.co/XGuSU7Hx90
Harden made two of his three free throws, putting Houston down by one. What happened next: Carter-Williams turned the ball over, and Harden drove through the Sixers for the go-ahead basket.
That left nine seconds on the clock, but Carter-Williams missed a final shot and the Sixers lost.
You could argue that, because Harden made just two free throws, the technical didn’t actually change the final score. Yeah, you could.
And you also could argue that having a coach pick up a T for booting the ball with under a minute to play in a tight game is the sort of thing that happens to a team still looking for its first win over two weeks into the season.