PHILADELPHIA -- Can it get any worse?
That has to be the question after the 76ers had one of their worst showings in a season when there is no shortage of candidates.
Facing an Orlando Magic team that had lost 17 of its previous 18 games and 10 straight on the road, the Sixers suffered a 98-84 defeat Tuesday night before a disbelieving crowd at the Wells Fargo Center.
"Nobody takes this harder than I do and I am a guy when I have coached, I have always been able to find answers -- and I have not been able to find answers," an introspective coach Doug Collins said afterward. "I have not been able to find answers, and from my standpoint that is disappointing because I am paid to do that."
What disappointed Collins was that the effort clearly was not there.
"They say it's a player's league and you have to take ownership of what you are putting out there," Collins said. "I am a day's pay for a days work kind of guy."
He obviously did not feel that the players earned their checks in this one.
Collins exited the court before time expired. However, there was a shot-clock violation. Collins said he thought the game was over; he said he would never leave the court if he thought there was still time left.
Many of the fans chose to leave early, and the few who stayed booed the Sixers off the court.
"It's one of those nights were we didn't show any fight," forward Thaddeus Young said.
The Sixers (22-33) have lost six in a row. The Magic (16-41) snapped a five-game losing streak.
Orlando led by five points at halftime, and when the Magic expanded the margin to 15 points early in the third quarter, Collins had seen enough.
With 8 minutes, 16 seconds left in the quarter, Collins pulled four starters -- Spencer Hawes, Nick Young, Evan Turner, and all-star Jrue Holiday.
Only Thaddeus Young remained on the court among the starters.
"The players out there weren't getting it done," Collins said.
The Sixers got to within five points late in the third quarter but found themselves down by as many as 21 in the fourth.
And Orlando was playing without point guard Jameer Nelson, the former Chester High and St. Joseph's University star who is day-to-day with a bruised knee.
The Magic got strong contributions from two of the players the Sixers traded in the four-team deal to acquire Andrew Bynum in August.
Former Sixers center Nik Vucevic had 12 points and 19 rebounds, while Maurice Harkless, the Sixers' first-round pick, added 10 points and four rebounds. Aaron Affalo and Tobias Harris each had 16 points for the Magic.
As for Bynum, he was not available for a scheduled pregame press gathering to update his status. Bynum, who has not played all season because of bone bruises in his knees, is expected to address the media on Friday after practice.
The Sixers received 14 points each from Jeremy Pargo and Damien Wilkins.
Collins gave the team off from practice Wednesday.
The Sixers will play in Chicago on Thursday, and no one, including their coach, will know if the players can rebound from such a deflating performance.
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