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Jalen Duran of the Detroit Pistons dunks the ball during the Toronto Raptors game at Little Caesars Arena on December 30 in Detroit, Michigan.
The Detroit Pistons avoided the longest losing streak in NBA history after snapping a 28-game skid with a 129-127 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday at Little Caesars Arena.
Not only did Detroit make NBA history, it was also on the verge of the longest losing streak in the history of major American professional sports, owned by the Chicago Cardinals, who lost 29 straight games in the NFL between 1942 and 1945.
Saturday's win marked the Pistons' first since Oct. 28.
It was a competitive game from the start, but a 14-4 run midway through the second quarter helped the Pistons take an eight-point halftime lead. Much like Thursday's game against the NBA-best Boston Celtics, Detroit's lead disappeared in the second half after Toronto was able to come back and trade with the Pistons in the third quarter.
However, the Pistons held strong and regained a double-digit lead when Jaden Ivy made a three-pointer to take a 110-99 lead with less than six minutes left in the fourth quarter. The short-manned Raptors responded with an 8-2 run by Scotty Barnes to get within five points and within striking distance.
It looked like the Raptors would complete the rally when guard Gary Trent Jr. made a three-pointer with two seconds left to cut the score to 127-129.
Former NBA No.1 pick Kate Cunningham finished with 30 points and 12 assists, while Jalen Duran added 18 points and 17 rebounds to power the Pistons to their first win.
“We kept fighting. It's been a long, long stretch — all these losses — but I'm glad to be a part of a group of guys who are not giving up and bringing it every day and still being positive and making each other better,” Cunningham said. game.
“It's been weighing heavily on us everywhere we've been going for two months, it's unreal … because it's been that long,” Cunningham added. “It's been a long time coming, we've been pushing for so long, to finally get over that hump, and we're not trying to go back. Now it really starts from a place where we see who we're going to be and continue to play with the same fire that we've been playing with.
After the Pistons had the benefit of playing against a Raptors team without three players The team agreed to trade Star Forward OG Anunoby, guard Malachi Flynn and forward Precious Achiua were on Saturday against the New York Knicks before R.J. Barrett, Emmanuel Quigley and a second-round draft pick in exchange.
“I've been in a ton of locker rooms my whole life, and that's the first time I've ever had that kind of … It wasn't relief, it was like thanking God, you know, finally.” Detroit Pistons head coach Monty Williams said of the win after the game. “Guys were screaming, I was almost in tears, I'm so happy for our guys, I'm so happy for everyone in the locker room.”
On Thursday, the Pistons dropped their 28th straight game after losing to the Celtics to tie the Philadelphia 76ers' streak of 28 straight games spanning two seasons from the 2014-15 season to the 2015-16 season.
The previous single-season losing streak record was held by the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and 76ers, who both lost 26 straight games in their respective seasons.
The Pistons next play Monday against the Houston Rockets, looking to win their second straight game.