The Detroit Pistons’ historic 28-game losing streak finally came to an end on Saturday with a 129-127 victory over the Toronto Raptors. Now, this young team can put a miserable two months behind them and focus on taking some meaningful steps forward in their rebuilding process.
From Oct. 28 through Dec. 28, the Pistons lost 28 consecutive games, which surpassed the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers for the most consecutive losses in one season, and matched the all-time mark, which was set by the Sixers on either side of the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.
Ironically, the Pistons actually started the season well. They lost by just one point to the Miami Heat on opening night, then beat the Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls, suggesting that perhaps this would be the season that this young roster showed its promise. Instead, it spiraled out of control. Even after the win over the Raptors, they have the worst record in the league at 3-29.
Now that their skid as stopped, here’s a look at what happened in the world of sports in the 63 days between Pistons wins.
- Ja returns from suspension, already has more wins than Pistons
The NBA suspended Grizzlies star Ja Morant for the first 25 games of the season after he flashed a gun on Instagram multiple times earlier this year. His first game back was on Dec. 19, when he hit a game-winner at the buzzer to beat the Pelicans. Since then, he’s gone on to lead the Grizzlies to wins over the Pacers and Hawks, and another over the Pelicans. The Grizzlies are 4-2 with Morant in the lineup, and have more wins with him than the Pistons have all season.
- Draymond drama
Green is currently suspended indefinitely after hitting Suns big man Jusuf Nurkic in the face during their Dec. 12 meeting. That was the third time that the Warriors star has been ejected this season for violent acts and the second time he’s been suspended. Previously, he had been tossed for, in part, shoving Donovan Mitchell into the stands on Nov. 11, and for putting Rudy Gobert in a chokehold on Nov. 15. He was suspended five games after the Gobert incident. For the season, Green has as many ejections as the Pistons have wins.
- KD moves up multiple spots on scoring list
Kevin Durant began the season in 13th place on the all-time scoring list, and passed Hakeem Olajuwon in the Suns’ second game of the season. That was actually on Oct. 26, just prior to the Pistons’ Oct. 28 win. However, Durant hasn’t stopped there. Since then he has moved up two more spots into 10th, passing Elvin Hayes and Moses Malone in the process. For the season, he’s moved up as many spots as the Pistons have wins.
- The entire In-Season Tournament
The NBA’s inaugural IST began on Nov. 3 with the first day of group stage games, and concluded on Dec. 9 with the Lakers’ win over the Pacers in the championship game in Las Vegas. The Pistons, of course, did not manage a win during that entire five-week stretch and were 0-4 in their IST group play games with a point differential of minus-45.
- The Detroit Lions won six games
Detroit’s sporting history is unfortunately littered with ignominious records, including the Lions’ 0-16 season in 2008, which remains the only time an NFL team has gone winless since the schedule was expanded to 16 games. The Lions, though, are no longer the city’s punching bag. They clinched first place in the NFC North at 11-4, and will be heading back to the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Six of those wins came during the Pistons’ losing streak, which, of course, is incredible since they only play once a week.
- The Rangers won their final three World Series games
Shifting to baseball, the Rangers won their first championship in franchise history last season, defeating the Diamondbacks in five games. Their final three wins in the World Series came on Oct. 30, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. Thus, the Rangers won as many World Series games during the Pistons’ losing streak as the Pistons have wins all season.
- The Dodgers spent over $1 billion in free agency
The Pistons’ losing streak went on so long that baseball shifted from the World Series to free agency. The latter has been highlighted by the Dodgers’ unfathomable spending spree, which has surpassed the $1 billion mark with historic deals for Japanese stars Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
- Caitlin Clark scored 432 points
The 2023-24 NCAA college basketball season didn’t tip-off until Nov. 6, nine days after the Pistons won on Oct. 28. During the 28-game losing streak, Iowa star Caitlin Clark, the reigning Naismith Player of the Year, poured in 397 points over 14 games to move up to fifth place on the all-time scoring list.
- 36 college football bowl games were played
When the Pistons won on Oct. 28, it was still the middle of college football’s regular season. During their losing streak, the regular season came and went, conference championship games were played, the Heisman Trophy was handed out to LSU’s Jayden Daniels and bowl season kicked off. In between the Pistons’ wins, 38 of the 43 bowl games were played.
- Connor Bedard scored 12 goals
Bedard was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, and entered the league with immense hype that he has thus far lived up to for the Blackhawks. He has 32 points in 35 games to lead all rookies, including 12 goals during the Pistons’ losing streak. The most impressive of which came on Dec. 23, when he scored a lacrosse-style goal from behind the net while the Pistons were losing to the Nets.