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Pistons tie NBA record for longest losing streak in a season at 26 with loss to Nets | Radio-Canada Sports

The Pistons players sat in stunned silence in one corner of the locker room, staring blankly ahead in another.

The worst basketball stretch of their lives now ranks among the worst in NBA history.

Detroit tied the league record for longest losing streak in a single season, losing 126-115 to the Brooklyn Nets in New York on Saturday night for its 26th straight loss.

“None of us have ever been through this,” center Isaiah Stewart said. “It’s probably the hardest thing we’ve all been through, especially in the pros.”

The Pistons joined the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers, falling 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 Detroit would remain winless since October 28.

The teams will meet again Tuesday night in Detroit, with the Pistons nearing the longest skid in league history. The 76ers lost 28 straight games between the end of the 2014-15 season and the start of 2015-16.

“Everyone wants to win, everyone hates to lose, so it’s tough,” guard Cade Cunningham said. “We also have to be realistic. We can’t keep doing the same things over and over again, like we’re going to get the next one. There has to be a plan of action, so we’re just trying to figure that out.”

Mikal Bridges had 29 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Nets, who put seven players in double figures and ended their five-game losing streak. Cam Thomas scored 20 points.

The Nets shot 52 percent 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 easy baskets from the Pistons, whose 14 turnovers led to 22 points.

Williams said he didn’t feel like their poor play led to bad luck for the Pistons.

“We’ve had a lot of tough times this year, but I try not to look at life that way. It just happens,” he said. “When you turn the ball over 14 times, you don’t expect 22 points, but it happens. Those live turnovers, it’s the death of basketball for possessions and we’ve had a lot of them this year.”

The Nets pull away in the 3rd quarter

The Pistons were within two midway through the third quarter before seven straight quick points from the Nets cut the lead to nine. It was still only 88-82 with less than three minutes to play, but Royce O’Neale made a 3-pointer and Day’Ron Sharpe followed with back-to-back baskets to spark a 10-0 run in the period that carried the score at 98-82.

Thomas scored the first five of the fourth quarter to make the score 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 freefall to infamy. Cunningham finished with 22 points after being limited to just 11 minutes in the first half after committing three fouls.

Williams, Phoenix’s NBA Coach of the Year in 2021-22, said he was the one in charge before the game. But the biggest problem might be a team whose average age is just under 25, making the Pistons one of the youngest teams in the league.

They commit too many fouls (most in the league at 22.8 per game) and turn it over too often (29th, at 16.6 per game) and simply haven’t been able to overcome the mix of mistakes.

Nets forward Cam Johnson, who along with Bridges played for Williams in Phoenix, thinks his former coach can be a contender with his new team.

“I told them, some of the kids on the team after the game, that sometimes you have to lose before you can win, sometimes you have to fall before you crawl, walk before you can run,” Johnson said.

Detroit opened with a few nice possessions taking a 6-0 lead, but then got sloppy, turning it over six times in the first quarter. The Nets outscored them for 11 points, which was the margin at the end of the quarter with Brooklyn ahead 32-21.

The Pistons played better in the second quarter but were only able to reduce their deficit by two points, trailing 65-56 at the break.

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