Detroit Pistons players celebrated a monumental 129-127 victory against the short-handed Toronto Raptors on Saturday, ending their record-breaking 28-game losing streak.
Cade Cunningham spearheaded the triumph with a stellar performance, amassing 30 points and 12 assists.
Following a drought that’s lasted since October 28, the Pistons finally halted their streak, the longest season-single season losing run in NBA history.
Detroit’s players were beyond relieved when they spoke to the media after the game.
“I feel amazing,” Cade Cunningham said. “We just kept battling. It’s been a long stretch, all these losses, but I’m just happy to be part of a group of guys who don’t quit.”
Jalen Duren’s impactful 18 points and 17 rebounds, along with Kevin Knox II’s 17 points, significantly contributed to Detroit’s hard-earned victory.
“We’ve been fighting hard for a couple of months to get one, and we’ve been through a lot of adversity,” Duren said.
The Raptors, playing on the heels of a back-to-back game, faced emotional upheaval due to the significant trade earlier in the day, notably absenting O.G. Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, and Malachi Flynn. Despite receiving RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley, they were unavailable during the game.
Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic acknowledged the emotional rollercoaster while praising his team’s resilience amidst challenging circumstances. He also applauded Detroit’s performance.
“They played a really good game and hit some very, very timely shots,” he said.
Pistons coach Monty Williams also shared his experience after the game.
“I’ve been in a ton of locker rooms my whole life, but that’s a first for me,” he said. “Guys were screaming. I was almost in tears. I’m just so happy for our guys and for everyone in the locker room.”
Toronto trailed by eight points at halftime but staged an impressive comeback, led by Pascal Siakam and Gary Trent Jr., who combined for 24 points in eight minutes, resulting in a commanding 42-point third quarter. Siakam’s stellar performance led to Cunningham’s temporary benching due to accumulating four fouls.
Rajakovic commended Siakam and Scottie Barnes for their remarkable second-half contributions, emphasizing their pivotal roles in Toronto’s resurgence, tallying 83 points in the latter half after a lackluster initial performance.