PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia 76ers snapped their NBA record-tying, 26-game losing streak, routing the Detroit Pistons 123-98 on Saturday night to avoid establishing the longest skid in U.S. major pro sports history.
Michael Carter-Williams and Thaddeus Young each scored 21 points for the 76ers, who won for the first time in exactly two months and did it with surprising ease, leading by as much as 32 points. They also ended an 18-game home losing streak, which was one shy of another NBA record.
Beaten badly a number of times during their skid, the 76ers got to experience life on the other side, ringing up a season-high 70 points in the first half.
Their 26 straight losses equaled the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and also the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who dropped 26 straight from Sept. 12, 1976-Dec. 4, 1977.
Henry Sims added 16 points for the Sixers, who hadn't won before their home crowd since beating Charlotte on Jan. 15. Fans were into it from the start and grew louder throughout, standing and cheering for the final 45 seconds.
Greg Monroe had 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Pistons, who lost for the 11th time in 13 games.
CLIPPERS 118, ROCKETS 107
HOUSTON -- Chris Paul had 30 points and 12 assists, Jamal Crawford added 22 points and Los Angeles clinched its franchise-record third straight playoff appearance by stopping Houston's five game winning streak.
Houston was without injured starters Dwight Howard and Pat Beverley.
It wasn't all good for Los Angeles. Blake Griffin left in the first quarter with back spasms and didn't return, and Glen Davis missed the second half for disciplinary reasons after throwing a temper tantrum in the second quarter.
SPURS 96, PELICANS 80
SAN ANTONIO -- Marco Belinelli scored 18 points and San Antonio never trailed after its opening possession to extend its winning streak to 17 games with the win over New Orleans.
San Antonio (57-16) extended its lead to 3½ games over Oklahoma City (53-19) for the league's best record.
Reserve guard Brian Roberts had 18 points to lead New Orleans (32-41), which had its five-game winning streak snapped. Austin Rivers added 16 points, Tyreke Evans had 11 points and Al-Farouq Aminu had eight points and 10 rebounds.
New Orleans was without Anthony Davis, its leading scorer and rebounder. Davis is day to day after injuring his left ankle 4 minutes into the Pelicans' victory over Utah on Friday night.
WIZARDS 101, HAWKS 97
Washington entered the game needing a win and a loss by the New York Knicks on Sunday to make the playoffs.
Wall scored 13 points in the last 7:16 of the third quarter and the Wizards finally escaped the pesky Hawks, who have lost six straight and 20 of 26.
Washington followed up a 13-point win over Eastern Conference leader Indiana on Friday with a win over the Hawks, who lead the Knicks by 1½ games for the final playoff berth in the East.
MAVERICKS 103, KINGS 100
DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 points and Dallas avoided a potentially serious blow to its playoff hopes by rallying in the fourth quarter to beat Sacramento.
The Mavericks blew a 17-point lead and trailed by five in the fourth quarter before recovering for their 20th straight regular-season win at home against Sacramento, the longest against any opponent in franchise history.
Dallas (44-30) is in a virtual tie with Memphis (43-29) for eighth place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind Phoenix. The Mavericks have eight games left and finish the regular season at the Grizzlies.
Rudy Gay scored 30 for the Kings.
Monta Ellis had 17 points and six assists, and Sam Dalembert added 15 as Dallas avoided a second loss to a West also-ran on a franchise-record eight-game home stand that ends Tuesday night against Golden State.
HEAT 88, BUCKS 67
It didn't matter against the team with the NBA's worst record.
The Heat led 46-29 at halftime and held the Bucks to a season low for points in a half and in a game.
John Henson had 12 points and 10 rebounds for Milwaukee.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press
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