Does the Sixers' long-overdue losing season begin tonight against the Rockets?

Does the Sixers' long-overdue losing season begin tonight against the Rockets?

UPDATE: No James Harden or MCW in this one tonight, as Harden is resting with a lingering foot issue and Carter-Williams is sitting with what's called a "left foot arch bruise." Both are listed as day-to-day.

Probably. The Sixers have given us several seasons' worth of unexpected entertainment the first few weeks of the season, with upset wins over...well, everybody they beat, considering there were zero teams to start the season the Sixers would be favored against. But now 3-0 has become 4-2 has become 4-4, and the Sixers are right back where they started the season at .500.

Tonight, the Sixers will likely be the proud owners of a losing record for the first time this season, as they host GM Sam Hinkie's old Houston Rockets squad at the Wells Fargo Center, their last home game for a week. The Rockets are a good team who wants to be better, 5-3 in their first eight games, but still struggling a little bit to figure out their big man rotation (with both prized free-agent signing Dwight Howard and incumbent starting center Omir Asik both demanding redundant big minutes) and to secure their perimeter defense, which has been leaky to a rather dangerous degree thusfar.

Nonetheless, they have Howard, James Harden, and a whole bunch of other good players. They will certainly be favored coming into the WFC tonight, especially after the bad loss the Sixers suffered two nights earlier to the San Antonio Spurs, a dispiriting 24-point defeat that saw the Sixers get disturbingly sloppy towards the end, and which definitely had a distinct Party's Over feel to it.

Still, how many times have we been willing to write the Sixers off already in this still-early season, only to see them give us reason to reconsider? The last time came after the Ballers' 20-point loss to the Warriors on their home floor, when they bounced back to beat the Cavaliers handily two nights later, so perhaps there's a little magic left in these young Sixer bones.

We'll see soon enough. 7:00 tip from the WFC. Tonight we will also meet Rod Baker, who's been a coach at various levels of pro and amateur basketball for about 35 years, and will now be introduced as the new coach of the 87ers, the 76ers' D-League affiliate. If he can lead the Rochester Razorsharks to the Premier Basketball League championship, imagine what he can do with Jerome Randle and Darington Hobson!

Best of NHL: Oilers blank Jets to win outdoor Heritage Classic

Best of NHL: Oilers blank Jets to win outdoor Heritage Classic

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Cam Talbot made 31 saves and Mark Letestu scored the first of three second-period goals, lifting the Edmonton Oilers over the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday in an outdoor game delayed almost two hours by sunlight melting the ice.

The Heritage Classic victory extended Edmonton's winning streak to three in front of 33,240 at Investors Group Field. Fans wore both Jets and Oilers jerseys to the league's 19th outdoor game.

Zack Kassian had a goal and an assist and Darnell Nurse also scored for Edmonton.

Connor Hellebuyck, who had a tuque attached to his helmet, stopped 29 shots for Winnipeg.

The NHL said the start of the Heritage Classic game was delayed "due to intermittent sunlight on the playing surface" and "in the interest of player safety." (see full recap)

Girardi leads Rangers past Coyotes
NEW YORK -- Dan Girardi scored 1:55 into the third period and New York beat Arizona.

Josh Jooris and J.T. Miller also scored for New York, which has won consecutive games to improve to 4-2-0. Henrik Lundqvist made 27 stops.

Radim Vrbata had both of Arizona's goals, and Louis Domingue made 23 saves. The Coyotes have lost their first four games on a six-game trip since beating Philadelphia in overtime at home to start the season.

Girardi put the Rangers ahead with a slap shot from the right point. The veteran was paired with rookie Brady Skjei in his first game after missing New York's previous three with a strained groin, and Skjei assisted on the goal (see full recap).

Tavares' big night helps Isles defeat Wild
NEW YORK -- John Tavares had two goals and an assist, Johnny Boychuk scored for the second straight game and New York beat Minnesota.

Calvin de Haan, Alan Quine and Thomas Hickey also scored to help New York get its highest scoring total of the year and win for the third time in four home games after opening with two road losses. Thomas Greiss stopped 26 shots for his first win in two starts this season.

Islanders rookie Anthony Beauvillier had two assists, giving the 19-year-old at least a point in three straight games.

Zach Parise scored twice for Minnesota to top 300 goals for his career, and Nino Niederreiter also scored. Second-string goalie Darcy Kuemper made 27 saves (see full recap).

Ducks hand Canucks 1st regulation loss
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Nick Ritchie scored the tiebreaking goal on a rebound with 8:36 to play, captain Ryan Getzlaf had three assists and Anaheim finally opened its home schedule with a victory over Vancouver.

Andrew Cogliano, Cam Fowler and Corey Perry also scored for the Ducks, who have won two straight after a four-game winless start. John Gibson made 17 saves in the Western Conference's final home opener, thanks to a schedule that forced Anaheim to play in five teams' home debuts this month.

Henrik Sedin scored the tying goal early in the third period for the Canucks, who lost in regulation for the first time this season. Bo Horvat scored a short-handed goal, and Loui Eriksson had two assists (see full recap).

Source: Eagles CB Ron Brooks to have knee surgery

Source: Eagles CB Ron Brooks to have knee surgery

It sounds like the Eagles will be out without a member of their secondary for a while, perhaps the rest of the season.

A league source tells CSN's Derrick Gunn that Eagles cornerback Ron Brooks will require surgery to repair an injury to his right knee. The Philadelphia Daily News' Les Bowen is reporting the injury is a serious quadriceps rupture that will end Brooks's first season as an Eagle and put him on the shelf until next summer's training camp.

Brooks was carted off the field after attempting to make an open-field tackle during the first quarter of Sunday's 21-10 win over visiting Minnesota. Brooks stayed down on the field for several minutes before his leg was stabilized and he was placed on a cart.

Brooks, 28, is primarily the Eagles' slot corner, but he's also a standout on special teams. A free-agent who left Buffalo to sign a three-year deal with the Eagles this past offseason, Brooks has 12 total tackles and a pass deflection this season, the LSU grad's fifth in the league.

Malcolm Jenkins slid over to slot corner in Brooks' absence Sunday, which allowed Jaylen Watkins to come in and see more playing time.

If Brooks is placed on injured reserve, the Eagles will have an open roster spot, possibly for another corner.