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Detroit Pistons set NBA record for longest losing streak in a single season

The Brooklyn Nets’ Day’Ron Sharpe drives to the basket against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Tuesday.Chris Schwegler/NBAE/Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons now have an unfortunate record all to themselves – and another one is in reach.

The Pistons on Tuesday set the NBA record for the longest losing streak in a single season, dropping their 27th consecutive game with a 112-118 loss to the Brooklyn Nets in Detroit.

Detroit could soon tie the NBA’s overall record losing streak, which is 28 games lost. The Philadelphia 76ers hold the overall mark, which spanned two seasons – the end of the 2014-2015 season and start of the next one.

The Pistons’ loss Tuesday came despite 41 points from guard Cade Cunningham. Cameron Johnson and Mikal Bridges led the Nets with 24 and 21 points, respectively.

“We’ve got to stay together,” Cunningham told reporters after Tuesday’s game, when asked whether he had a message for his team. “Right now is the easiest time to stand off and be on your own, but we need to continue to lean on each other, and continue to push each other and hold each other accountable, more than ever now.”

The Pistons briefly held a lead early in the fourth quarter Tuesday before relinquishing it, and a Cunningham drive cut the Nets’ lead to 2 with about a minute left. But the Nets’ Dorian Finney-Smith hit a 3-pointer from the corner in the next possession, and Brooklyn cruised from there.

The 2010-2011 Cleveland Cavaliers and 2013-2014 Philadelphia 76ers shared the previous one-season mark at 26 games lost.

Detroit could tie the NBA’s overall losing-streak record of 28 games on Thursday, when they play the Celtics in Boston.

The Pistons’ last win came on October 28, when they defeated the Chicago Bulls. The team’s season record now stands at 2-28.

The losing streak is a disappointment for a team that has tried to rebuild through youth the last few seasons with high draft picks – including Cunningham with the No. 1 overall pick in 2021, and Ausar Thompson with the No. 5 pick this year – and by luring coach Monty Williams to the club this year with a hefty contract.

Tuesday night, Williams was asked whether his team’s nerves were too tight at the end of recent games because players were desperate for the streak to end.

“Is it heavy? Yeah, I would imagine for everybody it is,” Williams said in Tuesday’s post-game news conference. “Nobody wants this kind of thing attached to them. I was brought in here to change this thing, and it’s probably the most on me than anybody. The players are playing their hearts out. I’ve got to get them in a position where they don’t feel tight or heavy.”

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