This game was viewed as one the 76ers had a chance of winning, but it proved to be a tease. The Sixers led by as many as nine points in the first quarter Wednesday night, but their misery continued in a 101-90 loss to the Boston Celtics at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Sixers are now 0-11 and well within range of the franchise's worst start. In 1972-73, when the Sixers went 9-73, they began the season by losing 15 straight games.
The record for most consecutive losses to start a season is 18 by the New Jersey Nets in 2009-10.
The Sixers will look to snap the skid Friday against the visiting Phoenix Suns, a team that won at Boston, 118-114, on Monday.
"We have to keep our guys believing that if they don't cheat days, and if they really come in, and if they invest in what we are selling, then we believe we have a chance of finding some wins, of keeping the group together to continue to develop our young players," coach Brett Brown said.
Finding wins with an offensively challenged team remains a major challenge. Tony Wroten came off the bench to score a team-high 21 points for the Sixers, making 7 of 19 shots from the field.
Brandon Bass scored 23 points for Boston. Jared Sullinger scored 11 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter.
Michael Carter-Williams made his first start in his fourth game this season and finished with 11 points, seven in the fourth quarter, when the Sixers were outscored by 28-22.
"I don't think we made the big plays in the fourth quarter," Carter-Williams said. "We had a little bit of a run and had mistakes on defense, but we need to play better, especially myself."
Carter-Williams appeared tentative in the first three quarters and admitted he is still getting accustomed to game action after offseason shoulder surgery. He shot 4 for 13 from the field and had five assists but four turnovers.
"Shooting a low shooting percentage and having 11 points isn't going to win us games, and being one of the leaders and go-to guys, I think I have to perform better," Carter-Williams said. "We also have to perform better as a team defensively."
That's for sure.
Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo took only five shots but was a dominant figure with 13 assists, although he also had six turnovers.
The Sixers couldn't match their first-quarter effort, when they outscored the Celtics, 27-22.
"I think we lost a little energy and didn't communicate as much on defense [after the first quarter], and they got open shots, and Rondo does a great job running that team," said Nerlens Noel, who had 10 points and eight rebounds.
While the Celtics aren't world beaters, they have been among the NBA's most competitive 4-6 teams. Four of their losses were by five points or fewer; they also own a win over Eastern Conference heavyweight Chicago.
Wroten gave the Sixers a boost when he hit a three-pointer from 38 feet to end the third quarter, cutting Boston's lead to 73-68.
But the momentum did not carry into the fourth quarter. Boston scored the first six points to take a 79-68 lead. The Sixers continued to battle, cutting the deficit to 84-79 on a Henry Sims jumper with 6 minutes, 20 seconds left.
Then it all went south, with the Celtics going on a 6-0 run to seal it.