The last time 76ers center Marreese Speights practiced was about the same time the team last won a game.
During a Nov. 14 loss in Chicago, Speights suffered a partially torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee. Four nights later, the Sixers defeated the Charlotte Bobcats.
They haven't won since then.
The Sixers are 5-18, and their losing streak has reached 12 games. It is the team's longest losing streak since they dropped 12 straight from Nov. 25 to Dec. 20, 2006.
The Sixers will try again tomorrow night against the Golden State Warriors at the Wachovia Center.
Yesterday, they practiced at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. So, too, did Speights. The team has not changed the timetable for his return to game action; that's still expected to come in two weeks - six weeks from when he suffered the injury.
Speights admitted that he was surprised at how quickly he was able to return to the court, adding that he believes his outside jumper - one of the best on the team - might have improved during the down time.
In the 10 games before his injury, Speights was shooting 60.5 percent from the field, averaging 13.0 points, and pulling down 6.4 rebounds a game.
"I feel great," Speights said yesterday. "First time playing against somebody else in a long time, so I was kind of nervous."
"We'll see if he has a setback tonight in terms of soreness and swelling," Sixers coach Eddie Jordan said. "But he looked pretty good."
On Friday night, the Sixers lost to the Houston Rockets, 96-91. Early in the game, the Sixers were ahead by 17 points.
"I don't know if we rested," Sixers swingman Andre Iguodala said of the early lead. "We didn't get those stops we needed. It was kind of like, 'All right, we're up 17 . . . they score, we're still up 15 . . . all right, they score, we're still up 13.' "
Jordan said the emotion of needing to win will not produce a victory.
"Emotion won't win a game for you," he said. "You have to execute. You have to have a clear head. You have to play with a lot of emotion, too, but emotion alone won't win it . . .
"There's an old saying, I don't know how true it is, but it's 'Coaches win practices, players win games.' We're all in this boat together, we're on the same boat together, and the boat's out there drifting in the middle of the ocean somewhere and we haven't found our destination yet to win a game . . . We have to prepare them and they have to apply it."
Injury update. Sixers point guard Allen Iverson participated only in the walk-through portion of yesterday's practice. Iverson is being "monitored" with a stress reaction in his right fibula. . . . Reserve guard Willie Green did not practice because of a sprained medical collateral ligament in his right knee. Green was injured during Friday night's game and is listed as day-to-day.