Pistons End Record Losing Streak

After going two months without a victory, the Pistons snapped their 28-game losing streak tonight with a 129-127 win over the Raptors.

Detroit still has the league’s worst record at 3-29, but the franchise won’t have to hold the record for the NBA’s longest-ever losing skid by itself. The 28-game slide matches what the Sixers did over the 2014/15 and ’15/16 seasons.

“I think people may have thought they were OK with losing, but they came in every day with a great spirit wanting to win,” coach Monty Williams told reporters. “… We always had our joy because knew that if we put it together we could win just not one game, but put a few together.” (Twitter link from Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press)

Cade Cunningham continued his recent hot streak, posting 30 points, three rebounds and 12 assists. He’s averaging 34.0 PPG in the Pistons’ last three games. Detroit also benefited from balanced scoring — with all five starters reaching double figures and Alec Burks adding 16 points off the bench — in notching its first victory since October 28.

“It’s been weighing on us heavy everywhere we go, which is two months,” Cunningham said of the losing streak (Twitter link). “Which is unreal for it to be that long … we’re not trying to go back. Now it really begins where we see what we can really be.”

Owner Tom Gores, who promised last week to make changes in response to the streak, issued a statement after the game acknowledging that everyone has been dealing with difficult circumstances, tweets Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports.

“I’m proud of how our guys have continued to fight through adversity,” he said. “I know it’s been hard, but they’ve kept their heads up and showed real character. The streak is over, but the hard work continues.”

The game vs. Toronto appeared to be a prime opportunity for the Pistons to end the streak against because the Raptors were on the second night of a back-to-back and were playing shorthanded after trading OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn to New York earlier in the day. Detroit led by 11 points with 5:50 left to play, but had to hold off a late Toronto comeback before claiming the victory.

“It was a very emotional day … but I don’t want to take anything away from Detroit,” said Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic (Twitter link from Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca). “They played a good game and deserved the win.”

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