The Detroit Pistons avoided another dance with NBA history on Saturday, beating the Toronto Raptors 129-127 at Little Caesars Arena, snapping a 28-game losing streak in the league.
“There was definitely a sense of relief” after the win, Pistons coach Monty Williams said. But there was no proverbial huff. “We know we have a lot of basketball to play,” he added.
Star Cade Cunningham led the Pistons with 30 points and 12 assists, while Jalen Doeren recorded a double-double with 18 points and 17 rebounds. Raptors forward Pascal Siakam led Toronto with 35 points. The Raptors were without forward OG Anunoby, who Toronto traded to the New York Knicks before Saturday's game.
The Pistons blew a 19-point halftime lead with a 128-122 overtime loss to the Boston Celtics on Thursday night to tie the record for most losing streaks set by the Philadelphia 76ers, who lost 28 straight between the end of the 2014-15 season. And the beginning of the 2015-16 season.
Where does the Pistons' losing streak rank in sports history?
Before the win over Toronto, the Pistons (3-29) last won on Oct. 28, beating the Chicago Bulls 118-102 in their third game of the season. The win gave Williams, who signed a six-year contract this offseason that could pay nearly $100 million, his only winning record leading Detroit — an improvement to 2-1.
How the Pistons cut their streak
For the first time in a long time, Detroit was solid throughout 48 minutes. He won three quarters of four and lost the third quarter by just four points. The Pistons made more than 85% of their 25-plus free throw attempts, which hasn't happened very often in recent weeks. Detroit was nowhere near its season average of 17 turnovers. The Pistons were consistent and didn't have a disastrous stretch throughout the game, and it paid off in the form of a victory. — James L. Edwards III, Pistons beat Writer
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The importance of winning
With the weight of the Pistons' losing streak weighing heavily on their shoulders, Detroit has a chance to not be defined by this historic skid. The Pistons have been playing better basketball lately despite the results and are about to embark on what could be a more difficult West Coast trip. The Orlando Magic started last season with a 5-20 record and finished the year with over 30 wins. The Pistons need to start building momentum for next season. — Edwards
Could this be a reason for optimism?
I don't know about optimism, but easing the burden off their shoulders could help the Pistons win a basketball game more than once every couple of months. The pressure of the next loss that won't be a historical note will certainly allow everyone to breathe a little. I don't think Detroit will turn around and make a postseason run or anything, but I can see the Pistons getting a win or two over the next couple of weeks just by taking the pressure off. — Edwards
(Photo: Gregory Shamos/Getty Images)
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