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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: An even dozen

     January 7, 1972 -- Expansion teams are supposed to struggle in professional sports. The Buffalo Braves were no exception to that rule. The Braves were in the middle of year two when they lost their 12th straight game, a franchise record.

     The "historic" loss came at the hands of the Phoenix Suns by a score of 123-110. The contest wasn't a happy return home from a West Coast road trip that had seen Buffalo lose five straight games by at least 14 points. The streak saw the team go from 12-16 not too bad -- to 12-28 -- not too good.

     Buffalo finally got a win a day later, beating the Royals in Cincinnati, 97-87. Then the Braves lost 11 of their next 13.

     The season was noteworthy for two guys named Smith. Elmore Smith was the team's first draft choice, and he instantly became one of the best shotblockers in the business upon arrival.

      However, it was Randy Smith who made the bigger impression. Randy made the team at forward because of amazing athletic ability, and eventually moved to guard as he stayed a Buffalo Brave until the team's departure for San Diego in 1978.

   For more on that Braves' season, click here.

--- Budd Bailey

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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.

@WDX2BB | bbailey@buffnews.com

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