Pistons finally break NBA record 28-game losing streak with win over Raptors – CBS Sports

The Detroit Pistons can officially breathe a sigh of relief. After losing 28 straight games – the longest single-season losing streak in NBA history and also the longest overall losing streak the league had ever seen – the Pistons won their third game of the season. On Saturday, Detroit defeated the Toronto Raptors 129-127, officially ending the historic series and returning to the winning list.

Thanks to Cade Cunningham's 30 points and 12 assists and some great shooting from Kevin Knox, Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic, the Pistons were finally able to put an end to this ignominious streak. Cunningham became the first Piston since Chauncey Billups to record a game with 30 points, 10 assists and no turnovers. That leaves the Pistons finishing 2023 with a 3-29 record, and while Detroit would have liked to see more wins in the win-loss category, it's good to see 2024 start with a clean slate.

Believe it or not, the season actually started with a hint of promise for Detroit. The Pistons won two of their first three games this season and nearly won their opener when they lost by one on the road to the defending Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat. However, things immediately went downhill from there as the Pistons lost game after game. They went through the entire month of November without winning. Some of these losses, such as a 19-point home loss to the Washington Wizards and an 8-point home loss to the severely undermanned Utah Jazz, were among the most embarrassing a team will endure all season.

But the Pistons had a bit of a break from a scheduling perspective on Saturday. While they had Friday night off, the Raptors played an incredibly competitive game on the road against the undermanned Celtics. Boston ultimately won that game 120-118, and Toronto's core of Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes all played at least 37 minutes in that loss. To make matters even more difficult for Toronto, the Raptors were shorthanded due to a blockbuster trade. Just hours before tipoff, Toronto dealt OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn to the New York Knicks. This left the Raptors severely undermanned. Detroit took advantage of the victory.

Detroit desperately needed this game if they were to have any hope of breaking the streak before it approached the league's longest streak of any kind – the 33-game winning streak built by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1972. Detroit begins a four-game Western Conference road trip on Monday, and three of their opponents in that window, the Rockets, Warriors and Nuggets, are considered difficult opponents. Fourth place, the Jazz, are less impressive but are 6-4 in their last 10 games and have a strong home-field advantage due to Utah's elevation. Detroit's best chance of winning after this game would have been a Jan. 10 showdown against the 5-26 San Antonio Spurs.

When this game comes, the Pistons no longer have to worry about their historic losing streak. They may be trying to avoid some other dubious markers, and they're still seven wins away from ensuring they don't post the worst 82-game season record in NBA history, but at least for now the Pistons can keep theirs Position keep heads up. They've officially started a one-game winning streak, and if they've learned anything over the last two months, it's that that winning streak can last a lot longer than anyone expected.