Worst Losing Streaks in NBA History

The LeBron-less Cavaliers set a new NBA record for futility

The 2010-11 season has been tough on Cavaliers fans -- first they watched LeBron James take his talents to South Beach... then the Cavs set a new NBA mark for futility, losing 24 consecutive games - and counting.

Cleveland's dismal stretch eclipsed the previous single-season record of 23 consecutive losses, shared by the 1997-98 Denver Nuggets and the expansion 1995-96 Vancouver Grizzlies. The overall record of 24 straight losses was held, sadly, by the Cavs as well.

Here's a look at the longest losing streaks in NBA history, and the teams that landed in the record book for the worst possible reason.

On December 18th, the Cavaliers beat the New York Knicks, 109-102. I'm writing this post on February 7 - and Byron Scott's squad hasn't won since. Their 111-105 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on February 5 was the record-breaking 24th straight.

The Cavs finally ended the streak by beating the Los Angeles Clippers in overtime, 126-119, on February 11th. More »

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24: 1981-83 Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavs old record was compiled over two seasons - they dropped the last 19 games of the 1981-82 season and the first five of the 1982-83 season, before finally beating the Golden State Warriors on November 10.

That's also the longest streak in terms of real time - their previous win came on St. Patrick's Day.

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23: 1995-96 Grizzlies, 1997-98 Nuggets

The then-Vancouver Grizzlies have a pretty good excuse for being this bad... they were in the first year of their existence, with a roster filled with past-their-prime stars (like current Cleveland coach Byron Scott) and their marquee rookie was the legendary Bryant "Big Country" Reeves.

Two seasons later, the Nuggets tied Vancouver's mark, losing 23 straight on their way to an 11-71 1997-98 season.

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20: 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, 1993-94 Dallas Mavericks

Any list of NBA badness would be incomplete without mention of the 1972-73 Sixers, who won just nine games all season and lost 73 - the worst 82-game record in league history.

The Dallas Mavericks tied the Sixers' mark - and very nearly matched their overall record - on their way to an 11-win season in 1993-94.

Several other teams, including the 2003-04 Orlando Magic, the 1992-93 Mavs, the 1988-89 Clippers and 1981-82 Cavaliers posted 19-game losing streaks. The Nets' 18-game streak was special, because New Jersey dropped those games to start the season. More »