The Detroit Pistons have finally put an end to their NBA record losing streak of 28 games. On Saturday night, they secured a hard-fought victory over the short-handed Toronto Raptors, with a final score of 129-127. Cade Cunningham played a crucial role in this monumental win, contributing an impressive 30 points and 12 assists.
The Pistons had not tasted victory since October 28th, and with their latest loss, they matched the Philadelphia 76ers’ record losing streak of 28 games, which was split over the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. This tied the record for the longest losing streak in the history of major professional sports leagues in North America, encompassing the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB. However, the Pistons did manage to set the single-season NBA record earlier in the week with their 27th consecutive defeat.
In their triumphant game against the Raptors, Jalen Duren also made a significant impact, recording 18 points and an impressive 17 rebounds. Kevin Knox II added 17 points to the scoreboard, solidifying the team’s collective effort. On the opposing side, Pascal Siakam and Dennis Schroder stood out for the Raptors, with Siakam contributing 35 points and Schroder adding 28.
It is important to note that the Raptors were playing the second half of a back-to-back game, making their challenge even greater. Furthermore, earlier on that day, the Raptors had made some notable trades, sending OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, and Malachi Flynn to the New York Knicks in exchange for RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley. However, neither Barrett nor Quickley were available to play in this matchup against the Pistons.
Heading into the fourth quarter, the Pistons maintained a slim lead of 90-86. Both teams struggled to establish a significant advantage until back-to-back 3-pointers by Cunningham and Jaden Ivey gave the Pistons a seven-point lead at 110-99 with only 5:50 remaining in the game.
Toronto fought back valiantly with an 8-2 run, led by Scottie Barnes, to bring the score to 114-107, but a crucial jumper by Cunningham extended the Pistons’ lead to nine points with only 1:34 left to play. Siakam’s 3-pointer reduced the deficit to four points at 126-122 with 17 seconds remaining, but the Pistons secured the victory from the free-throw line. In the last second of the game, Gary Trent Jr. hit a 3-pointer for the Raptors, but it was not enough to overcome the Pistons’ strong performance.
During the third quarter, the Raptors made a remarkable comeback, erasing an eight-point halftime deficit and taking a one-point lead at 75-74. Siakam and Trent played instrumental roles in this surge, scoring a combined 24 points in a span of just eight minutes. Siakam’s contributions were particularly noteworthy, as he tallied 20 of Toronto’s 42 points in the quarter. His stellar performance also forced Cunningham to take a seat on the bench due to foul trouble.
The Detroit Pistons have finally broken their historic losing streak, providing immense relief for the team and their fans. The victory against the short-handed Toronto Raptors is a testament to the resilience and determination of the Pistons’ players, notably Cade Cunningham and Jalen Duren. As they turn the page and set their sights on future games, the Pistons will undoubtedly draw strength from this monumental win.