The 76ers made franchise history Wednesday. Well, they tied it, at least.
A 99-91 loss to the Brooklyn Nets at the Wells Fargo Center was the Sixers' 15th straight to open the season, tying the organization's all-time worst start.
These Sixers joined the 1972-73 squad in reaching the dubious record. That team went 9-73 to set the NBA's futility mark.
But this season's squad gave Brooklyn (6-8) a scare before Kevin Garnett's clutch plays.
With his team clinging to a 90-89 lead, Garnett made a foul shot with 1 minute, 13 seconds remaining. The Sixers turned the ball over on the next possession before Garnett drained a 19-foot jumper with 32.8 seconds left.
The Nets never looked back.
Garnett, a 20-year veteran, finished with nine points, nine rebounds, four steals, three assists, and a blocked shot. The power forward thanks The Revolutionaries, the Sixers fan club, for his late-game heroics.
The Revolutionaries sit on the baseline closest to the Nets bench and had been riding Garnett.
"I had some females down there that kind of got me going," said Garnett, who was still fired up after the game. "I appreciate them.
"I want to shout them girls out on the baseline that were talking [trash]. I'm glad they did it. They put a little kick in my juices."
Joe Johnson collected a game-high 21 points. Deron Williams added 17 points to go with a game-high 10 assists and eight rebounds. Brook Lopez (19 points) and reserve Alan Anderson (12 points) were the Nets other double-digit scorers.
Tony Wroten and reserve K.J. McDaniels paced the Sixers with 18 points apiece.
Wroten also had 10 assists and eight turnovers.
Hollis Thompson made 4 of 6 three-pointers while adding 14 points. Henry Sims (12 points) and Luc Mbah a Moute (10 points) were the Sixers other double-figure scorers.
Michael Carter-Williams struggled from the field, going 1-for-9 to finish with four points. The point guard, who was last season's rookie of the year, did have eight assists before fouling out with 1:13 remaining.
Despite fighting hard, the Sixers could not avoid tying the record.
"You are going to look at me and think I'm either not completely genuine or I must be living in a cave. I didn't even know that," Brown said of the record before the game. "I know things are looming. I get what's happening out there. But as far as an exact date or number, I didn't even know that."
He soon will find out that his squad is challenging another mark.
The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets hold the NBA record for the most losses to start a season _ 18. The Sixers have tough home games against Dallas on Saturday and San Antonio on Monday before traveling to Minnesota on Wednesday. They would tie the NBA record by losing those three games, and have sole possession of it with a home loss to Oklahoma City on Dec. 5.
Brown wants his Sixers to be remembered for building a program.
"We believe in what we are doing," he said. "No, we understand the argument is, `Did you go too far? Could you have done something different?' We understand all of that.
"In regards to a legacy or how I choose to be remembered, I hope that people remember the whole process as one where a lot of sacrifices were made to move the program forward. And I think that they are."
On this night, the Sixers battled back from a 20-point deficit and took a 74-72 lead with 10:25 remaining on Nerlens Noel's alley-oop dunk.
The score then was tied four times until the Nets went on an 8-1 run to take a 90-83 lead with 2:45 to play.
The Sixers responded with a 6-0 run to close the gap to one point (90-89) on Wroten's driving layup with 1:32 left. That was as close as they got. A suddenly motivated Garnett made two plays that decided the game.
"I mean KG is KG," Brown said. "Look at their roster. You got so much respect for the history the team has. He's as great a competitor as the NBA has ever had. He made a big shot."