For a few brief, fleeting moments. It looked like tonight would be the night. It really did.
The Sixers entered the fourth quarter down 11, not looking particularly impressive at any point during the game, which was good, because collectively, I don't think our brains could have handled a particularly competitive game given what had just been dropped into our laps right around tip-off.
The Sixers then came out in the fourth quarter on fire, launching into a 22-6 run that gave them a seven-point lead with just over six minutes to play. The run was powered by the Sixers suddenly incredible three-point shooting, as the team set a single-game record by burying sixteen three-pointers. With franchise center Jahlil Okafor on the bench, the Sixers small lineup and hot shooting gave the Rockets fits.
The star of the game for the Sixers was Robert Covington, who put up the best stat line of his career, with career-highs in points (28) and steals (8) to go with seven rebounds and five assists.
Unfortunately, as has been their custom in recent games, almost immediately upon taking the lead, the Sixers coughed it up, with several poor possessions with Covington resting and Phil Pressey running the offense. They also fell victim to James Harden, who put up 50 points, including 14 in the final seven minutes, to bring the Rockets back and put them ahead for good.
The loss marks the Sixers 27th consecutive regular season loss dating back to last season, which feels like a whole season ago because it is. It's a record for the most consecutive losses in a pro sport, which is bad, but it's also between two different teams, which makes it a somewhat weird record.
Eventually, they'll win one of these games. They will. The return of Covington from injury has been a major shot in the arm to a team that's had no scoring punch other than Okafor post-ups.
For everyone's sake, I hope it's soon.
As a bonus, given the Okafor news coming out tonight, tonight's Halftime Hangout over at the Liberty Ballers twitter was a challenge to Sixers fans to create their own outlandish event that could befall the woebegone Sixers next. As is custom, you did not disappoint. Here's a sampling of some of the finer unfortunate events you (and we) came up with. Feel free to add your own in the comments.
At the rate we're going, Ben Simmons probably runs an underground gambling syndicate.— Liberty Ballers (@Liberty_Ballers) November 28, 2015
Tomorrow we're going to find out Dario Saric owes millions to a Turkish gangster, because the news just gets worse for the Sixers everyday.— Jake Pavorsky (@JakePavorsky) November 28, 2015
@Liberty_Ballers canaan gets tricked into thinking his house is haunted by a real estate developer in a mask— Les Jawns de Mer (@OhWowHmm) November 28, 2015
@Liberty_Ballers Nik Stauskas dies from a sauce cartel attacking him in the middle of the night— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) November 28, 2015
@Liberty_Ballers It's revealed that Joel has been faking his injury to focus on romantically pursuing rihanna— Jorge Luis Porges (@george_da_porge) November 28, 2015
@Liberty_Ballers Scott O'Neil is accused of arson after the Center is set on fire and he's found outside screaming "it's lit."— Noah Becker (@Noah_Becker) November 28, 2015
Sixers back at it again on Sunday in Memphis. Hopefully nothing else happens before then. At this point, I wouldn't bet on it.