PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The 76ers have fumbled their way toward the wrong kind of NBA history.
Amare Stoudemire had 22 points and 10 rebounds, Carmelo Anthony scored 21 and the New York Knicks won their eighth straight game, 93-92 over Philadelphia on Friday night, sending the Sixers to their 23rd straight loss.
The Sixers have matched the Vancouver Grizzlies (1995-96), Denver Nuggets (1997-98) and Charlotte Bobcats (2011-12) for the second-longest single-season losing streak in NBA history.
The Cleveland Cavaliers set the record of 26 consecutive losses in the 2010-11 season.
The Sixers (15-54) would have to pull off an upset to avoid tying the record.
Up next, three straight road games at Chicago, San Antonio and Houston. If the Sixers lose all three, the potential record 27th loss would come March 29 vs. Detroit.
With 8.6 seconds left and the Sixers down 92-90, Sixers guard James Anderson mishandled the ball as he attempted to pass it to Thaddeus Young, and it bounced out of bounds.
After Anthony hit 1 of 2 free throws, Michael Carter-Williams missed the tying 3-point attempt, and a putback at the buzzer made no difference in ending the streak.
Tyson Chandler had 17 points for the Knicks, who are suddenly charging for a playoff spot.
Carter-Williams, one of the few bright spots this season, led Philly with 22 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists.
Young hit a 3-pointer with 32.5 seconds left, Philadelphia’s 40th attempt, that pulled the Sixers to 92-90 with 32.5 seconds left. He scored 21 points and the Sixers set a team mark with 41 3-point attempts. They made only 10.
The Knicks entered the day only four games back of Atlanta for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Their recent surge started right around the time news broke that New York wanted to hire Phil Jackson as team president. Jackson was officially introduced on Tuesday, and the Knicks are starting to give him reason to believe he might be in charge of a playoff contender.
The Knicks never dominated, but did enough to hold off a Sixers team freefalling toward one of the worst seasons in NBA history.
New York shook off 33 percent shooting in the first half to hit a slew of big 3s and throw down one-handed jams that turned back Philadelphia at every run.
After the Knicks started 1 for 16 from 3-point range, J.R. Smith hit a pair early in the third that gave them some needed breathing room.
And in the fourth, Stoudemire’s dunk pushed the lead to 11 and Tim Hardaway Jr., followed with one of his own that brought a huge pro-Knicks crowd to their feet.
For a team that ranked 29th in attendance, the blue-and-orange fans that colored the arena gave the fourth quarter a rare, lively atmosphere.
The losses have piled up for the Sixers — and now, an injury.
Shooting guard Tony Wroten, their third-leading scorer, left the game in the fourth with a sprained right ankle.
They could have used his scoring punch in the final minute. Instead, the put the ball in Anderson’s hands, and he put it out of reach of an overdue win. The Sixers lost their 18th straight home game since beating Charlotte on Jan. 15.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)