No one expected the Philadelphia 76ers’ road record to improve on its first two nights of their current four-game west-coast road trip.
Staying at Staple Center, the Sixers lost by six to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday before dropping a 13-point deficit to the Lakers on Tuesday night.
It was an especially tough task just to stay with the two Western Conference powers considering they were without the injured Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
But head coach Brett Brown opted to take a different tone with his team’s road woes despite fighting valiantly without their two best players.
“You know what? Sadistically, we love it,” Brown said of his team’s inability to win away from Philly (h/t Ben Golliver). “You really want to figure out what life looks like in the playoffs? Do what we just did. Go play the Clippers on the road, play the Lakers on the road, and I like it.”
Brown’s men are now just 9-23 this season on the road. Only four teams in the Eastern Conference have fewer wins away from home.
It’s the major reason why they are entrenched in the No. 5 spot in the Eastern Conference rather than being legitimate challengers for a top seed.
Headlining Tuesday’s loss was Al Horford’s continued struggles as his plummet out of favor amongst Sixers fans continue.
The man who signed a $109 million contract in large part to help the Sixers’ defense when Embiid was not on the floor was torched by Lakers center Anthony Davis, who dropped 37 points on 13-of-19 shooting in the Lakers’ ninth win in 10 games.
Without his defense, Horford’s contract is already shaping up to be a major bust.
In 57 games, the 33-year-old is averaging 11.6 points per game on 43.2% shooting from the field. That’s on pace to be his worst season as a professional, which is an ominous start to his four-year contract.
The Sixers will try to break their current nine-game road losing streak on Thursday night against the Sacramento Kings, who are fighting for a final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Postseason contention is rare for the franchise seeing as they haven’t made the playoffs since the 2005-06 season.
But the Kings have been hot as of late, winning six of their last seven games. Since a six-game losing streak from Jan. 10-22, Sacramento is 12-5.
Dynamic point guard De’Aaron Fox is leading the Kings’ attack as he comes into his own in his third year in the NBA. He’s averaging 22.8 points and 5.8 assists per game over his last 13 outings, helping push his season mark to 20.4 points per game.
The Sixers defeated the Kings in their only other meeting earlier this season, a 97-91 result on Nov. 27 at Wells Fargo Center.