By Brian Mahoney, The Associated Press on December 23, 2023.
NEW YORK (AP) – The Detroit Pistons matched the NBA record for the longest losing streak in a single season, falling 126-115 to the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night for their 26th straight loss.
The Pistons joined the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers, dropping to 2-27 in their first season under Monty Williams. They were in the game in the second half before the Nets put them away with a 15-0 run to open a 21-point lead and ensure that Detroit would remain winless since Oct. 28.
The teams will meet again Tuesday night in Detroit, with the Pistons nearing the overall longest skid in league history. The 76ers lost 28 consecutive games from late in the 2014-15 season through early 2015-16.
Mikal Bridges had 29 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Nets, who put seven players in double figures and snapped their five-game losing streak. Cam Thomas scored 20 points.
The Nets shot 52 per cent from the field, showing plenty of energy in their second night of back-to-back games after losing to the NBA champion Denver Nuggets on Friday. They got some easy baskets thanks to the Pistons, whose 14 turnovers led to 22 points.
The Pistons were within two midway through the third quarter before a quick seven straight points by the Nets pushed the lead back to nine. It was still just 88-82 with under three minutes remaining, but Royce O’Neale made a 3-pointer and Day’Ron Sharpe followed with consecutive baskets to trigger a 10-0 finish to the period that made it 98-82.
Thomas scored the first five of the fourth quarter to make it 103-82, giving the Nets their largest lead.
Jaden Ivey scored 23 points for the Pistons, who started 2-1 in their first season under Williams before their free fall toward infamy. Cade Cunningham finished with 22 points after being limited to just 11 minutes in the first half after picking up three fouls.
Williams, the NBA Coach of the Year in Phoenix in 2021-22, said he was the one to blame before the game. But the bigger problem might be a roster whose average age is slightly under 25 years old, making the Pistons one of the youngest teams in the league.
They foul too much (most in the league with 22.8 per game) and turn it over too often (29th, with 16.6 per game) and just haven’t been able to overcome the combination of errors.
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