The Detroit Pistons have finally ended the longest losing streak in NBA history. Saturday night in Toronto had been circled by many as their best opportunity to snap the streak, given the Raptors would be on a back-to-back following a game against the Sixers on Friday.
Then, on Saturday afternoon, things shifted even more into the Pistons favor when the Raptors agreed to a blockbuster trade sending OG Anunoby, Malachi Flynn, and Precious Achiuwa to the Knicks for Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett. With the trade happening earlier in the day, Toronto was not going to have any of those players available, meaning they were not only on short rest but also shorthanded.
Even so, the Pistons have found increasingly painful ways to lose, most recently blowing a 21-point lead to the Celtics on Thursday night before losing in overtime, so nothing was assured. However, after some terrific individual performances without the team getting the intended result, Cade Cunningham’s latest big outing finally resulted in a Pistons W. Cunningham scored 30 points to go along with 12 assists and no turnovers in one of his best all-around performances of the season, with the entire Detroit starting lineup reaching double figures around him (and getting 16 from Alec Burks off the bench) as the Pistons were able to put together a complete team effort on offense.
The game was firmly in the balance in the second half, with Toronto pulling to within one on multiple occasions but never prying the lead from the Pistons hands. That was thanks to some timely shotmaking from the likes of Bojan Bogdanovic (19 points) and Cunningham, as they were able to find buckets when needed to keep the Raptors at a distance.
Things got a little dicey late despite Detroit leading by nine with under two minutes to go, as the Raptors simply would not go away, led by a 35-point night from Pascal Siakam and 30 points from Dennis Schroder, but ultimately the Pistons were able to hit their free throws and hang on for a 129-127 win, snapping the losing streak at home and getting their first win since October.
Along with Cunningham and Bogdanovic having strong scoring nights, Jalen Duren had a big double-double with 18 points and 17 rebounds, Kevin Knox chipped in 17 points, and the Pistons finally got to celebrate a W with their fans. Given how many times they had early leads during the losing streak only to let them slip away, it’ll be interesting to see if getting the proverbial monkey off their back will allow them to add a few more wins instead of ripping off another double-digit losing skid. If nothing else, it ends a two-month long saga of the longest losing streak in NBA history.