It was an obvious question, one that needed an answer.

The 76ers focus on the inside game in their defense. But will their seemingly nonexistent perimeter defense make coach Brett Brown reassess that?

"At times, it does," Brown said. "You like to have a team that says: 'Tonight we are playing this type of team. We are going to do this.' Then we are playing this type of team, then we are going to do that.

"We need to keep it simple for our guys. And sometimes it doesn't work."

Brown realizes that his defensive strategy is difficult to manage when opposing teams start teeing off from the perimeter. "And when you have no energy and legs," he said," it looks worse."

How bad has it been? The Sixers (7-19) surrendered 21 three-pointers in consecutive games against Portland and Brooklyn.

The Blazers made 21 of 37 three-pointers in a 139-105 win Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center. Two nights later, the Nets made 21 of 35 threes in a 130-94 blowout in Brooklyn.

The Sixers matched the team record for the most three-pointers given up in a game - in consecutive contests. They also surrendered 21 three-pointers against Toronto on March 13, 2005.

Portland made eight three-pointers on pick-and-roll sets, Brown said. Five came after offensive rebounds. Five others were the result of Sixers post players trying to guard perimeter players.

"I think it's easy to say . . . you guys guard the paint, so you must give up a lot of threes. That's not true," said Brown, whose team also set an NBA record by giving up 15 or more three-pointers in six games this season.

With 56 games remaining, the Sixers could obliterate that record.

"You hear a coach that says how we want to [defend] and you see this barrage of threes," Brown said. "You say, well, jeez. That ain't smart. Maybe you want to guard the three-point line. . . .

"That's a result of a lot of energy-related issues as well. So the worst sort of recipes end up in a game where they shoot it."

Opposing perimeter players are feasting on the Sixers.

Brooklyn guard Joe Johnson made eight three-pointers in the third quarter to tie the NBA record for threes in a quarter set by Milwaukee's Michael Redd on Feb. 20, 2002.

Johnson scored 29 of his 37 points in the quarter. In all, he made 10 of 14 three-pointers.

Here are the other opponents who have made at least five three-pointers against the Sixers this season: Golden State's Andre Iguodala (seven), Washington's John Wall (five), Cleveland's Kyrie Irving (five), San Antonio's Danny Green (five), Houston's Jeremy Lin (nine), Atlanta's DeMarre Carroll (five), New Orleans' Ryan Anderson (six), Orlando's Arron Afflalo (five), and Portland's Dorell Wright (five).