The Philadelphia 76ers still have the best record in the Eastern Conference at 47-23, but they looked like anything but championship contenders during Thursday's 106-94 loss to the Miami Heat.
"We took an ass-whooping," head coach Doc Rivers told reporters. "We all looked like we were stuck in the mud tonight. We were all bad."
Offense was the biggest concern for the 76ers in the loss, as Tobias Harris was the only Philadelphia player to score more than 12 points.
Joel Embiid managed just six points and four turnovers in 25 minutes, Ben Simmons scored eight, and the team as a whole shot 28 percent from three-point range as it fell into a hole right away.
Miami jumped out to an 18-point lead in the first quarter alone and had enough breathing room to still win by double digits even though the 76ers won the fourth quarter by 10 points.
This is two losses in a row for the 76ers, which has prevented them from locking up the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. They are one game ahead of the Brooklyn Nets with two games remaining, although Philadelphia owns the tiebreaker after winning the season series.
It should also be able to clinch that No. 1 seed without relying on the tiebreaker, as its final two games are home against the 21-49 Orlando Magic.
Still, the 76ers will have to be much better than they were Thursday if they are going to cash in on their championship expectations.