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    76ers drop 26th in a row to tie NBA record for futility

    After the Philadelphia 76ers tied an NBA record with their 26th consecutive loss, one of their youngest voices spoke loudest.

    Michael Carter-Williams, one of six rookies on the NBA’s youngest team, delivered a pep talk after James Harden’s triple-double led the Rockets to a 120-98 victory on Thursday night in Houston

    ‘‘During the game a couple of guys had long faces . . . and I found myself a little bit down,’’ said Carter-Williams, who had 10 assists. ‘‘I just don’t want anyone in this locker room feeling bad for themselves . . . I think that’s really important that we don’t get down on ourselves and we just give up just because we have a certain amount of losses.


    ‘‘I just felt like I needed to speak my piece and make sure that guys are upbeat every single day.’’

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    Philadelphia coach Brett Brown was impressed by the leadership the 22-year-old Carter-Williams showed.

    ‘‘He never would have done that two months ago,’’ Brown said. ‘‘He wouldn’t have done it two weeks ago. All these things, all these small wins we find along the way, that’s our road map this year.’’

    Harden had 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists in three quarters as Houston posted its fifth straight victory.

    The 76ers (15-57) stuck around early before a big second-quarter run allowed the Rockets to pull away and roll to the win. Philadelphia moved within a game of Milwaukee for the league’s worst record.


    Philadelphia matched the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers for the NBA’s worst skid and can set the record at home against Detroit on Saturday.

    Bucks 108, Lakers 105 — Brandon Knight scored 30 points and Ramon Sessions added 22 as host Milwaukee snapped an eight-game losing streak.

    The Bucks (14-58) swept the season series with the Lakers for the first time since 2006-07.

    Clippers 109, Mavericks 103 — Chris Paul scored 31 points, Blake Griffin added 18 points and 13 rebounds, and visiting Los Angeles rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to complete a three-game season sweep of Dallas.

    Trail Blazers 100, Hawks 85 — LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 16 rebounds in his return from a back injury as visiting Portland ended a three-game losing streak.