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Sixers blow another fourth-quarter lead

NEW YORK - Considering how badly the 76ers played Monday night, one would assume that losing by nine points would be a moral victory.

NEW YORK - Considering how badly the 76ers played Monday night, one would assume that losing by nine points would be a moral victory.

Another fourth-quarter meltdown, however, kept them from getting a much-needed real victory.

The Brooklyn Nets went on a 12-2 run early in the quarter, built a double-digit cushion, and held on for a 100-91 win Thursday night at the Barclays Center.

"We just want to get a win," Nerlens Noel said. "Moral [victories] only go so far. We want to win some basketball games."

The loss dropped the Sixers to 1-22, extending their current losing streak to four games.

Brooklyn (7-15) has won six of their last seven home games. It was also their eighth victory in the last 10 meetings against the Sixers.

The visitors were horrible from the three-point line, going 4 of 31. Robert Covington (0 for 6), Isaiah Canaan (0 for 6), Nik Stauskas (0 for 7), and Hollis Thompson (0 for 3) - their best long-range threats - were a combined 0 for 22.

But unlike in Monday's 51-point loss to the San Antonio Spurs, the Sixers showed some fight against the Nets despite the horrid shooting.

They battled back from a 16-point first-half deficit en route to playing through six ties in the third quarter before building a 74-68 lead with 40.9 seconds left in the quarter.

The Sixers, however, decided to start the fourth quarter with their starting lineup of Tony Wroten, Canaan, Covington, Noel, and Jahlil Okafor. The only problem was that T.J. McConnell had the hot hand, scoring a career-high 17 points while making a career-high three three-pointers on four attempts.

McConnell, an undrafted rookie point guard, eventually went in for Wroten with 8 minutes, 27 remaining. By then, the Nets were in the midst of breaking the game open with a 12-2 run to take a 90-80 lead with 7:18 left.

"We were just hoping to make some perimeter shots," Sixers coach Brett Brown said. "We knew we were going to play through Jahlil. T.J. had an unusual perimeter game for him - he hit some threes. But by and large, you feel that Isaiah can be better paired with Jahlil doing down the stretch.

"It gives Jahlil someone to pass out to and not play in a crowd. When you look at our four shooters going 0 for 22, if we go 3 for 22 it's a tie game."

Okafor, a rookie center, led the Sixers with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Another rookie, Richaun Holmes, added a career-high 14 points.

Nets reserve forward Andrea Bargnani finished with a game-high 23 points. Former Sixer Thad Young finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds. It was the power forward's 10th double-double in the last 13 games. He has 11 total this season.

This marked Wroten's first start since Jan. 3. The Sixers point guard went back to the court on Dec. 5 after missing 10½ months because of a partially torn right anterior cruciate ligament.

Wroten finished with nine points, four rebounds, two assists, two turnovers, and a steal in 16 minutes, 54 seconds.

He played 13 minutes in his first game back, against the Nuggets. Then the 6-foot-6, 205-pounder was on the floor for 14 minutes against the Spurs in his second matchup.

"Being off for 10 months, I needed a couple of games to get under my belt," he said. "Nothing is going to come overnight. But that fact that I'm back in the lineup and back to things being normal is a great feeling.

"I'm ready to lead this team like I know I can, and start winning a lot more games."