MINNEAPOLIS - The 76ers are now on the doorstep of tying one NBA futility mark and across the street from another.
They suffered a 100-95 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night, extending one skid to 25 games dating back to March 27 of last season.
The Timberwolves (6-8), however, were supposed to be a beatable opponent for the Sixers. Minnesota came into the contest with an 0-6 record at the Target Center and had lost 14 straight home games since last season.
The Sixers snapped the franchise record of 17 straight losses to start a season here last season against the Timberwolves. But Minnesota standout Andrew Wiggins took over Monday's game in the fourth quarter, leading to the Sixers' latest loss.
Last season's rookie of the year scored 15 of his game-high 32 points in the final quarter. None were bigger than his pair of foul shots that gave the Timberwolves a 93-91 lead with 1 minute, 4 seconds remaining. Wiggins started at small forward instead of his normal shooting guard spot.
Kevin Martin, who made his first start of the season at shooting guard, made a three-pointer with 28.4 seconds left to give Minnesota a five-point cushion. He added two foul shots to make it 98-91 with 12.7 seconds left.
"We have been in games," Sixers coach Brett Brown said. "We put ourselves in position to win. I think we taught them how to compete.
"Now, the next layer is we have to teach them to close out a game and win."
The Sixers, who have started the season with 15 straight losses, are two away from the franchise mark. The league record is 18, held by the 2009-10 New Jersey Nets.
The Sixers are also one loss away from tying the NBA's overall consecutive-loss record of 26 that their 2013-14 team shared with the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers.
But the Sixers didn't help themselves down the stretch in this game.
Despite having a dominant performance, Jahlil Okafor wasn't fed the ball down the stretch after he reentered the contest with the score tied at 91 and 2:11 to play. His frontcourt mate and the team's leading rebounder, Nerlens Noel, wasn't even in the game.
"I don't know," Noel said of being sidelined. "I'm not the coach."
Brown said the Sixers tried to look for Okafor, who had 25 points on 10-for-16 shooting. Nineteen of his points came before intermission.
"It's just that the Timberwolves did a great job pressuring us," Brown said. "That's the way the game ended."
The Sixers missed five shots as the Timberwolves built their seven-point cushion after Martin's foul shots.
"Some of my teammates had good shots, they just missed," said Okafor, who also finished with a game-high 12 rebounds to go with two blocks. "I think that pretty much was it. We just turned over the ball [19 total for the game] a little bit.
"We had some shots that were makeable. We just didn't make them."
Next up is a game at Boston on Wednesday, followed by at matchup at Houston on Friday. They could break the overall losing streak and match their franchise mark for losses to start a season against the Rockets. They would be in line to shatter that record on Sunday at Memphis.
There was plenty of hype surrounding this contest because of the center matchup pitting Okafor, the third overall pick, against Karl-Anthony Towns, two of the early rookie-of-the-year favorites.
Towns, the first overall pick, was plagued by foul trouble, finishing with six points, two rebounds and two blocks in 19:06. Martin finished with 11 points, while Robert Covington had 18 off the bench for the Sixers.
Shooting guard Nik Stauskas (two points) left the game with 6:19 left in the quarter because of pain in his left knee. He will have an MRI exam tomorrow.
"When I stood up to go to the locker room at halftime, walking just didn't feel right," Stauskas said. "I got some tests done from the doctors here and they were just a little concerned."