NBA roundup: Pistons slump to record-equalling 26th defeat, Lakers snap four-game skid


NBA roundup: Pistons slump to record-equalling 26th defeat, Lakers snap four-game skid

Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges is fouled as he drives to the basket by Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham
Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges is fouled as he drives to the basket by Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham Reuters
The Detroit Pistons matched an NBA single-season mark for futility on Saturday, slumping to a 26th straight defeat in a 126-115 loss to the Nets in Brooklyn.

As the Los Angeles Lakers snapped a four-game skid behind 40 points from LeBron James and reigning champions Denver and Eastern Conference contenders Boston and Milwaukee posted comfortable victories, the Pistons matched the league's longest single-season losing streak - set by the 2010/11 Cleveland Cavaliers and the 2013/14 Philadelphia 76ers.

Detroit, an iconic franchise that won NBA titles in 1989, 1990 and 2004 - hasn't won since October 28th.

Mikal Bridges scored 29 points with six rebounds and seven assists to lead the Nets - who had seven players score in double figures.

Jaden Ivey scored 23 points and Cade Cunningham added 22 for the Pistons, who coughed up 14 turnovers leading to 22 Nets points.

Brooklyn out-scored Detroit 62-42 in the paint and held an 18-9 edge in second-chance points and never trailed after the first quarter.

The Pistons were in the hunt, down by six late in the third quarter, when the Nets put together a 15-0 scoring run to pull away.

Detroit will try to turn the tables when they play the Nets in Brooklyn again on Tuesday, when a defeat would land them with the single-season record - and put them one away from matching the longest losing streak ever, the 28-game slide of the 76ers that spanned the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.

Pistons coach Monty Williams said he'd seen some good things from his team, and he praised their continuing determination in the midst of the morale-destroying slide.

"Losing is awful in this league," Williams added. "And we've had a lot of it. I'm proud of the way that they just keep battling every night. Our guys don't want to be a part of any kind of losing streak, whatever.

"But every day they come back with focus and drive and grit trying to win a game."

In Oklahoma City the Lakers, struggling since capturing the inaugural in-season tournament crown, snapped their four-game losing streak with a 129-120 victory over the Thunder.

Lakers coach Darvin Ham shuffled his lineup, starting Jarred Vanderbilt in place of D'Angelo Russell in a bid to "lean in" to the defensive effort.

But it was NBA all-time leading scorer James who set the tone, scoring 15 of his 40 points in the fourth quarter as the Lakers ruthlessly suppressed the Thunder's bid to rally from a 26-point deficit.

Anthony Davis scored 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Rui Hachimura added 21 points off the bench for the Lakers, who had 37 total assists and 16 three-pointers.

In New York, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 28 points to lead Milwaukee to a 130-111 victory over the Knicks, stretching the Bucks' winning streak to seven games.

The Greek star added seven rebounds and seven assists while Bobby Portis came off the bench to deliver 23 points and a team-high 11 rebounds for the Bucks, who improved to 22-7.

The Bucks remained second in the Eastern Conference behind the Boston Celtics, who improved to an NBA-best 22-6 with a 145-108 victory over the Clippers in Los Angeles.

Wembanyama sidelined

In Charlotte, the Nuggets used a dominant third quarter to take control and held on for a 102-95 victory over the Hornets.

Michael Porter Jr scored 22 points, Nikola Jokic had 18 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists before fouling out late and Denver out-scored the Hornets 30-9 in the third period on the way to a fourth straight win.

The Nuggets trailed by six at halftime but opened the third quarter on a 25-1 run, the Hornets unable to make a basket until the final minute of the period.

The Golden State Warriors, with 28 points from Klay Thompson and 27 from Stephen Curry, notched a fifth straight victory, 126-106 over the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Memphis Grizzlies improved to 3-0 since Ja Morant's return from a 25-game suspension, beating the Hawks 125-119 in Atlanta.

Desmond Bane scored 37 points and Morant added 30 with 11 assists for the Grizzlies, who withstood a 30-point, 13-assist double-double from Atlanta's Trae Young.

It was Young's seventh straight game with at least 30 points and 10 assists, tying Oscar Robertson for the longest such streak.

Dallas star Luka Doncic produced a triple-double of 39 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists - and sat out the fourth quarter - to lead the Mavericks to a 144-119 victory over the San Antonio Spurs, who were without Victor Wembanyama.

The star rookie was a late scratch after tweaking his injured right ankle in pre-game warm-ups when he stepped on the foot of a courtside attendant.


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