Now that the Houston Rockets have lost 20 games in a row, they’re only eight more losses away from catching the Philadelphia 76ers, who hold the record for worst and longest losing streak in NBA history at 28 consecutive losses.

NBA Longest Worst Losing Streak Houston Rockets Philadelphia 76ers Cleveland Cavs
John Wall and Danuel House, Jr. of the Houston Rockets during the team’s current 20-game losing streak, the longest in franchise history, and longest in the NBA this season. (Image: Getty)

During the now-infamous “Process,” the Philadelphia 76ers sucked on purpose in order to restock the team with lottery picks. During their low point, the 76ers set the NBA record with a 28-game losing streak that spanned two seasons. The 76ers lost 10 games in a row to end the 2014-15 season, then started the 2015-16 season with an 18-game losing streak.

The 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers are tied for the NBA’s longest single-season losing streak with 26 consecutive losses. After LeBron James made “The Decision” and signed a free-agent deal with the Miami Heat, the LeBron-less Cavs imploded.

NBA Longest Losing Streaks: 76ers and Cavs

The Sixers had some awful teams in the early 1970s, which is why the franchise appears all over our list of worst and longest NBA losing streaks. The 1972-73 Sixers went 9-73 with one of the worst seasons in modern sports history. The local press dubbed them the “Nine and 73ers,” much to the dismay of the team.

The Cleveland Cavs had some lean years in the early 1980s. The Cavs were the bottom-feeders of the Eastern Conference, which consisted of 11 teams in those days. The 1981-82 Cavs were the worst team in the NBA that season at 15-67, and ended that season with a 19-game losing streak. They started the next season with a five-game skid, and lost 24 games in a row.


NBA Worst and Longest Losing Streaks
Losses Team Season(s)
28 Philadelphia 76ers 2014-15 > 2015-16
26 Philadelphia 76ers 2013-14
26 Cleveland Cavaliers 2010-11
24 Cleveland Cavaliers 1981-82 > 1982-83
23 Charlotte Bobcats 2011-12
23 Denver Nuggets 1997-98
23 Vancouver Grizzlies 1995-96
21 Detroit Pistons 1979-80 >1980-81
20 Dallas Mavericks 1993-94
20 New York Knicks 1984-85 >1985-86
20 Philadelphia 76ers 1972-73
20 Houston Rockets 2020-21

The 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats weren’t an expansion team, but they played like one with a 7-59 record. Due to the 2011 lockout, the Bobcats played in only 66 games that season. The 2011-12 Bobcats bottomed out with a 23-game losing streak and are often considered the worst team in NBA history with a .106 winning percentage.

The Vancouver Grizzlies joined the NBA as an expansion team in 1995, and then embarked on a 23-game losing streak in their inaugural season. Canadians are still apologetic about their misstep.

Houston Rockets: 20 Losses and Counting

The Rockets expected this year would be rough after they traded Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards, and then traded James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets.

The Rockets have four favorable spots this week to end their skid. They play the Toronto Raptors (17-25) tonight in Houston. The Raptors haven’t won a game in the second half of the season, and lost their last eight games in a row. Someone has to win Monday evening’s bum fight.

On Wednesday, the Rockets host the Charlotte Hornets (20-21), but the Hornets won’t have LaMelo Ball after he fractured his wrist. If the Rockets fail to beat either team, they fly to Minneapolis this weekend for a back-to-back series against the Minnesota Timberwolves (10-32).

Then again, fans in Houston have been telling themselves that the next game will be the one game they win to end their skid. When the Rockets started this losing streak and dropped seven-straight at the end of February, no one expected they’d lose every game leading up until the All-Star break. Before the break, the Rockets lost 13 in a row and expected they’d start the second half on a positive note by ending the skid. They’ve played seven games since the break and have dropped every single one.

The last time the Rockets won a game, a 12-point victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in Memphis in early February, they improved to 11-10. Since then, they’ve lost 20 games in a row.

The Houston Rockets have the worst betting record in the NBA at 12-29 ATS.

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