Detroit Pistons defeat the Raptors to break the losing streak
DETROIT, MI – The Detroit Pistons defeated the Toronto Raptors 129-127 to end the historic losing streak.
“We never want to go through again, what we just went through,” coach Monty Williams said after the win.
The Pistons were led by Cade Cunningham and Jalen Duren who each ended the game with double-doubles.
Cunningham finished with thirty points, twelve assists and had a whopping ten free throw attempts. Duren scored eighteen points and pulled down seventeen big rebounds, but most importantly he hit all six of his free throw attempts.
”This has been a long long stretch of losses,” Cunningham said. “But I’m glad to be with a group of guys who stay positive and uplift each other.”
How it went down
After suffering a tough overtime defeat to the Boston Celtics the Pistons looked to take advantage of a tired and trade depleted Raptors team. News broke earlier in the day that the Raptors traded O.G. Anonouby to the New York Knicks for several players including RJ Barrett, and a second round pick. Anonouby is considered one of the better two-way players in the league and would have been a tough matchup for the Pistons.
The Pistons got off to a good start leading 25-24 at the end of the first quarter behind solid play from Alec Burks. Burks had eleven points and shot perfect from the floor, and free throw line in the first frame. They took the lead behind the bench unit, which has been a work in progress. But in this one the backups found success going on a 6-0 run to take the lead.
In the second quarter they turned up the defensive intensity holding the Raptors to twenty points. They also received good minutes from Kevin Knox and James Wiseman. Wiseman had three blocks in his first seven minutes of action deterring even more shots at the rim. And Knox had the hot hand scoring from behind the arc, dunking and and in transition baskets.
Raptors star Pascal Siakam began to exert his will on offense scoring twenty points in the third quarter. But to the dismay of the Pistons Cade Cunningham received his fourth foul with about 3 minutes to go which allowed the Raptors a few possessions that cut an eight point Pistons lead to four heading into the final quarter.
But Cunningham didn’t sit long, he returned with ten minutes left in the fourth quarter and hit a three. All night Cunningham was the answer to stymie any Raptors attempts to take the lead.
In fact Cade Cunningham hit several big shots and free throws down the stretch to lead the Pistons to a win.
Cunningham had nine points in the final 6:20 of the game and his teammates hit some big free throws to help seal the deal.
Coach Monty Williams was impressed by Cunningham, but even more proud of the entire teams progress with valuing each opportunity to put the game away.
“Cade had a tough first half but his second half was brilliant,” Williams said. “We’re learning how physical the game is and how important each possession is.”
Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores on ending the streak:
“I’m proud of how our guys have continued to fight through adversity. I know it’s been hard, but they’ve kept their heads up and showed real character. The streak is over, but the hard work continues.”