PHILADELPHIA – James Anderson had the ball in his hands and a rare Philadelphia win within reach.
All Anderson had to do was throw a simple pass to Thaddeus Young in the corner for a 3-point attempt, and the Sixers would have at least had a shot at a tie.
Maybe a win.
And then a sorely needed postgame celebration.
Anderson, instead, simply fumbled the pass, watched the ball hit the line and bounce out of bounds.
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 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.
Inside the locker room, the Sixers insist they are not getting used to losing.
Hell no, guard Tony Wroten said. I’m never used to losing. I speak for the team, too. There’s no such thing as getting used to losing. I never come into a game talking about, Oh, we’re going to lose, let’s just play.’
The Sixers (15-54) play at Chicago tonight.
With 8.6 seconds left and the Sixers down 92-90, Anderson took the inbound pass from just past midcourt, drove down the low post and mishandled the ball as he tried to kick it to an open Young, and it bounced out of bounds.
Somebody grabbed me on the arm and it kind of came out funny, Anderson said. That’s why it came up short. It happened. There was no call. But that’s how the game goes.
Tyson Chandler had 17 points for the Knicks.
THUNDER 119, RAPTORS 118, 2OT: In Toronto, Kevin Durant had 51 points and 12 rebounds, and All-Star guard Russell Westbrook limped off in the third quarter with a sprained right knee but Oklahoma City survived.
Durant hit a go-ahead 3 with 1.7 seconds left in the second overtime, Reggie Jackson scored 25 and Serge Ibaka had 13 as the Thunder won their fourth straight.
NETS 114, CELTICS 98: In New York, Joe Johnson hit six 3-pointers in his 27 points, and Mason Plumlee added 18 points as Brooklyn won its 11th straight at home.
Former Celtic Paul Pierce had 14 points and Andray Blatche and Jorge Gutierrez added 10 apiece for the Nets, who moved within one game of Chicago for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
HEAT 91, GRIZZLIES 86: In Miami, Ray Allen scored 18 points as Miami rallied from an 84-77 deficit.
PELICANS 111, HAWKS 105: In Atlanta, Anthony Davis had 34 points and 11 rebounds to lead New Orleans.
MAVERICKS 122, NUGGETS 106: In Dallas, Monta Ellis scored 26 points, and Dirk Nowitzki added 21 to lead Dallas.