Detroit Pistons end 28-match losing streak with win over Toronto Raptors
Image caption: Cade Cunningham scored 30 points for the Pistons
The Detroit Pistons narrowly avoided unwanted history as they ended their 28-match losing streak with victory over the Toronto Raptors.
Cade Cunningham scored 30 points and made 12 assists as the Pistons edged a 129-127 win – their first in the NBA since 28 October.
Their 28th defeat had equalled the longest losing run in NBA history.
A loss to the Raptors would have matched the longest losing streak in major US professional sports history.
That record is held by NFL team the Chicago Cardinals – now the Arizona Cardinals – who fell to 29 successive losses between 1942 and 1945.
In Saturday’s match, Bojan Bogdanovic added 19 points for hosts the Pistons, while Jalen Duran contributed 18 points and 17 rebounds and Kevin Knox II made 17 points.
“We just kept battling,” said 2021 NBA draft number one pick Cunningham. “It’s been a long, long stretch – all these losses – but I’m just happy to be a part of a group of guys that don’t quit and bring it every day and still stay positive and uplift each other.”
He added: “It’s been weighing on us heavy everywhere we go for two months, which is unreal, for it to have been that long.
“It was a long time coming, something that we’ve been pushing for for so long and to finally get over that hump, we’re not trying to go back. Now it really begins where we see who we’re going to be and if we’re going to continue to play with that same fire that we’ve been playing with.”
No win for birthday boy James
Elsewhere, it was not a happy birthday for LeBron James, whose Los Angeles Lakers lost 108-106 to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
James, who turned 39, scored 26 points, with the Timberwolves’ Anthony Edwards scoring 31 points in 38 minutes for the hosts.
In Indianapolis, Tyrese Haliburton became the first player in 33 years to score at least 20 points and 20 assists in consecutive games as he led the Indiana Pacers to a 140-126 win over the New York Knicks.
With his 22 points and 23 assists, he joined Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and John Stockton as only the third player in NBA history to achieve the feat.
Luka Doncic led the Dallas Mavericks to a 132-122 victory over Stephen Curry’s Golden State Warriors, while there were wins too for the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz.