OAKLAND, Calif. - The 76ers have hit rock bottom. How else can you explain their first two performances on this three-game West Coast road trip?
One night after losing by 45 points, they suffered a 123-80 setback to the Golden State Warriors on Monday at the Oracle Arena.
The Sixers (15-38) joined the franchise's 1993-94squad as the NBA's only teams to lose consecutive games by 40-plus points. That team suffered defeats of 48 and 45 points.
This time, the Sixers’ combine margin of loss was 88 points. According to the Elias Sports Bureau that’s the third largest total margin of defeat in consecutive game by any team in NBA history.
So what went wrong Monday night?
“I don’t know,” swingman Evan Turner said. “You just look up at the scoreboard and you see a lot of points. I really don’t know.
“We were in the game at one point, down by about 10, and the next thing you know it popped up to like 25 or 30 and that was in about a five minute stretch. We played a really great team, but at the same time I don’t understand what occurred.”
The inability to stop former Sixer Marreese Speights and a three-point barrage were part of the problems.
Speights came off the bench to score a career-high 32 points on 12-of-15 shooting. He also finished with eight rebounds. The Warriors (31-21) made 12 of 29 three-pointers. Six came from point guard Stephen Curry, who finished with 23 points and a game-high eight assists.
Michael Carter-Williams led the Sixers with 24 points on 8-for-18 shooting. The loss was their seventh straight and their 17th in 20 games.
Golden State gave out Wilt Chamberlain San Francisco Warriors bobblehead dolls.
The Sixers were eager to get back on the court after Sunday's embarrassing 123-78 loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles. They made just eight first-half shots and trailed by 56 points midway through the third quarter that night.
"That at times [was] a surreal environment that we were playing in [Sunday] night," Sixers coach Brett Brown said before the game. "We want to get going. We feel we are a lot better than we showed. We feel like we want to get back on the court."
They also felt like they had the perfect formula for beating Golden State.
"Obviously, we've got to control Steph Curry," Turner said before the game. "And you can't give shooters open shots."
The one thing they didn't do was account for Speights. And who would have blamed them?
The 6-foot-10, 255-pound forward/center came into Monday night's game averaging just 5.6 points and 3.5 rebounds and 11.9 minutes.
The former Sixer got extended minutes in this game because of injuries to starting center Andrew Bogut (shoulder inflammation) and backup Jermaine O'Neal (right wrist surgery). Speights made the most of them.
The sixth-year veteran was called in for David Lee with 4 minutes, 31 second left in the first quarter. He went on to make his first seven shots from the field and his first five foul shots en route to 22 first-half points. Speights' previous season high for a game was 16 points against the Houston Rockets in December.
Speights was so dominant that he received a standing ovation when he was relieved with 1:52 before intermission. Then the fans kept chanting “MVP! MVP!” whenever he touched the ball after intermission.
“I really never knew,” he said of realizing this would be a big game. “I just kept going. I didn’t want to look forward because my career high was 28 and I didn’t want to keep thinking I’ve got to get 28.
“I just went out there and the ball kept coming to me so I kept getting opportunities to score.”
The Sixers have now lost seven straight games and 17 of their last 20.
Follow and contact Inquirer 76ers beat writer Keith Pompey on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers