Monty Williams slammed "the absolute worst call of the season" after the Detroit Pistons lost to the New York Knicks on Monday.

The Pistons lost 113-111 to the Knicks, in large part due to an obvious case of the officials missing a blatant foul with 8.5 seconds left, after Donte DiVincenzo barged into Ausar Thompson.

Referee James Williams subsequently admitted a mistake had been made.

And Williams was left seething.

"The absolute worst call of the season," Williams said.

"No call, and enough's enough. We've done it the right way. We've called the league. We've sent in clips. We're sick of hearing the same stuff over and over again.

"We had a chance to win the game, and a guy dove into Ausur's legs and there was a no-call. That's an abomination. You cannot miss that in an NBA game. Period. And I'm tired of talking about it. I'm tired of my guys asking, 'What more can we do, Coach?' That situation is Exhibit A to what we've been dealing with all season long, and enough's enough.

"You cannot dive into a guy's legs in a big-time game like that and there be a no-call," he continued. "It's ridiculous, and we're tired of it. We just want a fair game called. Period. And I've got nothing else to say. We want a fair game, and that was not fair."

The Pistons were also on the end of a controversial decision in their loss to the Orlando Magic on Saturday.

"I'd say livid," said Cade Cunningham, who scored 32 points and added five rebounds and five assists.

"That's the word of the day: livid."

Explaining his attempt to win the ball, DiVincenzo said: "I went for the ball. I didn't look at the play. You turn the ball over, the ball is in front of you, and you go after the ball. Like I said, I respect everyone's opinion. I can't speak on it until I look at the film."

The controversy came a day after LeBron James and Darvin Ham questioned the officials after the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Phoenix Suns.

Detroit sit bottom of the Eastern Conference, while the Knicks are in fourth.

Bam Adebayo compiled 28 points and 10 rebounds as the Miami Heat overcame the absence of several key players to record a 121-110 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Monday and extend their winning streak to four games.

Miami moved a half-game ahead of the Orlando Magic for first place in the Southeast Division despite missing two of its stars in Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro, as well as starting point guard Terry Rozier. Herro and Rozier sat out due to injuries, while Butler was serving a one-game suspension for his role in an on-court altercation in the Heat's win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

Rookie Jaime Jaquez helped fill the void by producing 26 points on 12-of-17 shooting, and the Heat also got key contributions from reserves Kevin Love and Haywood Highsmith.

Love poured in 19 points in just 15 minutes, while Highsmith scored 15 first-half points to help Miami take a 65-62 lead into the break.

Jaquez then put up 13 points during a dominant third quarter in which the Heat outscored Sacramento by a 36-19 margin. Miami took the lead for good with a 10-2 run that snapped a 71-71 tie, then later scored the final 10 points of the period to build a commanding 101-81 advantage entering the fourth.

The Kings had a three-game winning streak snapped despite Domantas Sabonis registering his league-leading 21st triple-double with 14 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists.

Keegan Murray led Sacramento, which was coming off a 16-point road win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, with 28 points. De'Aaron Fox finished with 27 in the loss.

Barnes' triple-double powers Raptors past Pacers

Scottie Barnes recorded his fourth triple-double of the season with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 130-122 win over the weary Indiana Pacers.

Toronto also received big efforts from RJ Barrett and rookie Gradey Dick en route to its season-high third consecutive win. Barrett delivered 24 points on 11-of-16 shooting, while Dick had 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and finished 7 of 9 from the field while making all four of his 3-point attempts.

Playing for the second straight night, the Pacers had a three-game winning streak snapped despite Bennedict Mathurin matching a career-high with 34 points to go along with nine rebounds. Former Raptors All-Star Pascal Siakam had 27 points, nine rebounds and six assists in his second meeting with his ex-team since being traded to Indiana on Jan. 17.

The Pacers got an off night from leading scorer Tyrese Haliburton, however, as the All-Star guard misfired on nine of 11 shot attempts while being held to nine points.

Indiana did manage to battle back from a 12-point third-quarter deficit, however, to tie the game at 102-102 with just over eight minutes left in the fourth.

The Raptors then regained control with a 13-2 run, which Dick started and finished with 3-pointers, to take a 115-104 lead with 6:21 remaining.

Indiana closed the gap to four points entering the final three minutes, but a jumper by Toronto's Gary Trent Jr. followed by a Barrett 3-pointer helped end any comeback hopes.

Hart's late basket lifts Knicks over Pistons

Josh Hart scored the go-ahead layup with 2.8 seconds left as the New York Knicks held off a determined upset bid from the Detroit Pistons and came away with a controversial 113-111 victory.

The Pistons fought back from a 13-point deficit in the third quarter to take a 111-110 lead on former Knick Quentin Grimes' layup with 37.3 seconds remaining. New York's Jalen Brunson misfired on a 3-point try on the ensuing possession, but Detroit's Ausar Thompson had the ball stolen away after colliding with the Knicks' Donte DiVincenzo to set up Hart's basket off a feed from Brunson.

Hart missed the free throw for a potential three-point play, but the Knicks collared the rebound and Hart was fouled again with 1.3 seconds left. He made 1 of 2 from the line to prevent a potentially damaging home loss to a Detroit team with an NBA-worst 8-49 record.

Game officials acknowledged afterward that a loose-ball foul should have been called on DiVincenzo during the collision that preceded Hart's basket.

Brunson finished with 35 points and 12 assists and Hart had 23 points and eight rebounds as the playoff-hopeful Knicks won for the second time in three outings following a four-game losing streak. DiVincenzo contributed 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting.

Detroit was dealt a sixth straight loss despite Cade Cunningham's 32 points and eight assists and an 11-point, 16-rebound effort from Jalen Duren. 

The teams were facing one another for the first time since collaborating on a six-player trade on Feb. 8 that sent veterans Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks to New York, with Grimes among the return pieces to the Pistons.

Grimes finished with 14 points while Bogdanovic recorded 13 points and six rebounds off the bench. 

 

Detroit Pistons coach Monty Williams was left unimpressed by the Phoenix Suns issuing a statement following Isaiah Stewart's arrest.

Pistons center Stewart was arrested after he punched Phoenix's Drew Eubanks before Wednesday's meeting between the Suns and Detroit.

Stewart, who was already out of the game due to an ankle injury, was issued with a citation and released, reported ESPN, citing Phoenix police.

Eubanks, meanwhile, helped the Suns win 116-100. The Phoenix center said the altercation with Stewart took place as he was coming into the arena, explaining an argument sparked before security intervened.

In a statement, the Suns said: "The attack on Drew Eubanks was unprovoked, and acts of violence such as this are unacceptable.

"We unequivocally support Drew, and will continue to work with local law enforcement and the NBA."

Williams, who was sacked by the Suns last season, questioned his former team, however.

"The thing is to get all of the information. The NBA will do an investigation," Williams said.

"For me to come here and make a statement would be a bit irresponsible. I know the Suns said it was unprovoked; I think that is irresponsible for sure. You really don't know.

"That did not need to happen. There is a time for the information to be gathered, and then you can make a statement."

A Pistons statement added: "We are in the process of gathering information about what happened and what provoked it, and responding to the NBA and local authorities."

Suns talisman Kevin Durant, who finished with 25 points, said: "Keep the game first. There's a lot of noise. 

"It's unfortunate what happened before the game, it's supposed to be a brotherhood. But I also understand, dudes get into stuff. We try to avoid that in this league, hopefully we can move on from it. We all support Drew."

Russell Westbrook is "so grateful" to be on the Los Angeles Clippers team after he tallied up 25,000 NBA points.

Westbrook became the fourth active player in the NBA, and the 25th player overall, to hit the 25,000 milestone when he nailed a running layup with 2:44 left during Friday's 136-125 win over the Detroit Pistons.

LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Clippers teammate Harden are the other active players to have passed the landmark.

Westbrook, meanwhile, is just the second player in NBA history with 25,000 points, 8,000 rebounds and 8,000 assists, after James.

"I'm so grateful to be on this team," said Westbrook, who finished with 23 points. "I don't take any of this for granted."

"Thanks to God man, for allowing me to play the game I love, and be grateful for that. It's a blessing.

"Grateful to be able to play the game of basketball and use my platform to be able to share, impact and inspire people."

Westbrook's basket sparked jubilant celebrations on the Clippers' bench.

"It's a fun group," he added. "We've got good guys, we all hang out, all have fun.

"To see the love and support here from the coaches and my teammates, I'm super grateful for that."

Jaden led the Pistons with 28 points, and he had nothing but praise for Westbrook.

"I actually got to work out with Russ before the start of my rookie year," Ivey said.

"He gave me a lot of advice. He's just a great, humble dude. He took me under his wing a little bit."

The Clippers trailed by 14 points in the first quarter, but clicked through the gears as the game wore on, with Kawhi Leonard (33 points) leading the way.

They’re a tough young team, especially at home," said Westbrook. "We had to figure out how to play the right way, using our effort and energy to close out the game."

Pistons coach Monty Williams was frustrated with his team's sloppiness, however.

"You can't have turnovers and some of the undisciplined errors we had against a team like that," said Williams.

"It's something that has hurt us all season long. When we take care of [the ball], we have a better chance of success."

The Clippers are third in the Western Conference with a 32-15 record, while the Pistons remain rooted to the bottom of the East with the league's worst record (6-42).

Nikola Jokic recorded his league-leading 15th triple-double this season and Jamal Murray fell a rebound shy of one as the Denver Nuggets took down the Portland Trail Blazers, 120-108 on Friday.

Jokic had 27 points, a season-high 22 rebounds and 12 assists for his 120th career triple-double, a total bettered only by Russell Westbrook (198), Oscar Robertson (181) and Magic Johnson (138) in NBA history.

Murray finished with 13 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, while Aaron Gordon scored 18 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 16 points. The Nuggets have won five straight and 12 of 13 against the Blazers.

Scoot Henderson scored 30 points and Anfernee Simons had 29 for Portland, which played without Jerami Grant, who was a late scratch due to lower back tightness.

Clippers’ Westbrook hits milestone in win

Russell Westbrook scored 23 points to become the 25th player in NBA history to reach 25,000 in the Los Angeles Clippers’ 136-125 win over the Detroit Pistons.

Westbrook, who shot 10 of 13 from the field and handed out nine assists, joined teammate James Harden on the list of players to score 25,000 points. Harden reached the milestone in December.

Kawhi Leonard scored 21 of his 33 points in the first half and Paul George added 18 as the Clippers won for the seventh time in eight games.

Jalen Ivey scored 28 points and Bojan Bogdanovic had 26 for the Pistons, who dropped to 4-41 after a 2-1 start to the season.

Sabonis breaks Robertson’s record in Kings’ win

Domantas Sabonis tallied 26 points and 12 rebounds to break Oscar Robertson’s single-season franchise record with his 30th straight double-double to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 133-122 win over the Indiana Pacers.

Sabonis, who added seven assists, surpassed Robertson’s mark set from Dec. 6, 1961-Jan. 30, 1962.

De’Aaron Fox had 25 points and six assists and Malik Monk added 23 points, six assists and five rebounds to help Sacramento win for the fifth time in six games.

Bennedict Mathurin scored 31 points for the Pacers, who shot 54.1 percent from the field but were hurt by 21 turnovers to fall to 4-8 in their last 12 games.

Monty Williams believes the Detroit Pistons proved they care for the team after a morale-boosting win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Pistons have endured a dismal campaign, only snapping a 28-game losing streak at the end of December.

Detroit have since won a further three games, with their most recent victory coming on Sunday, in a 120-104 defeat of the Western Conference-leading Thunder, who were on a five-game winning spin.

Jalen Duren starred with 22 points and a career-best 21 rebounds for the Pistons, and while they remain rooted to the bottom of the Eastern Conference with the league's worst record (6-40), Detroit are showing they care, says Williams.

"I just think our guys care," he said. "We had every reason to make excuses, a back-to-back against the best team in the West, and our guys just competed."

Making the Pistons' win even more impressive was the fact that Cade Cunningham, their leading scorer, was out due to a lingering knee issue.

Cunningham played in a defeat to the Washington Wizards on Saturday, but Williams did not want to risk his star player.

"We felt like, on a back-to-back, if there was any level of concern, we didn't feel good putting him out there," Williams said.

Thunder coach Mark Daigneault, meanwhile, reflected on a poor all-round showing from his team.

"I thought it was an energy thing in both directions," Daigneault said.

"They played with great energy, beat us to balls, played with intensity, and as the game wore on, we couldn't drum up that same energy. They obviously deserved to win today."

Jalen Duren scored 22 points and grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds as the Detroit Pistons ended the Oklahoma City Thunder's five-game winning streak with a surprising 120-104 victory on Sunday.

Duren finished 9 of 13 from the field and added six assists to lead Detroit, which owns the NBA's worst record, to just its sixth win of the season. Jaden Ivey compiled 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a game the Pistons held out leading scorer Cade Cunningham for injury management reasons. 

The Thunder entered the contest with a half-game lead over Minnesota for first place in the Western Conference, but went just 4 of 14 from 3-point range in the second half while shooting 39.1 per cent overall over the final two quarters.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander paced Oklahoma City with 31 points, while Jalen Williams had 20 in the loss.

The Pistons never trailed after outscoring the Thunder 17-8 to close out the first half, turning a 53-53 tie into a 70-61 lead at the break.

Detroit stretched the margin to 14 points early in the third quarter, but Gilgeous-Alexander had six points during a 12-4 run that cut Oklahoma City's deficit to 87-84 with under 4 1/2 minutes left in the period.

That was as close as the Thunder got, however, as the Pistons countered with a 13-2 spurt to take a 100-86 lead into the fourth quarter. 

 

Magic rally past Suns despite Booker's 44 points

Paolo Banchero scored 26 points and the Orlando Magic dominated the fourth quarter to overcome another prolific scoring performance from Phoenix's Devin Booker and rally for a 113-98 win over the Suns.

Booker finished with 44 points two nights after dropping a season-high 62 on the Pacers in Saturday's loss at Indiana, but he and the Suns' shooting went cold down the stretch as they failed to hold on to a 10-point third-quarter lead.

After Kevin Durant's jumper put Phoenix up 92-89 with 10:10 remaining, the Suns went more than eight minutes without a field goal as the Magic took the game over with a 21-2 run. Phoenix missed 11 straight shot attempts and committed five turnovers before Keita Bates-Diop's layup with 1:56 left ended the drought.

The Suns went 5 of 18 from the field while being outscored by a 31-13 margin in the fourth quarter, and their four made 3-pointers in 14 attempts was a season low. 

Booker had 42 points through three quarters but managed just two made free throws in the final period, while Durant was held to 15 points after entering the contest averaging 28.8 per game for the season. 

Moritz Wagner had nine of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and added 12 rebounds as the Magic ended a two-game losing streak and earned just their third win in their last 10 games.

 

Bey's late dunk puts Hawks over slumping Raptors

Saddiq Bey capped a 26-point night with a putback dunk with 1.3 seconds left that lifted the Atlanta Hawks to a thrilling 126-125 victory over the slumping Toronto Raptors.

Bey dunked home the rebound of teammate Trae Young's missed shot to put Atlanta ahead for good during a frantic final sequence that saw three lead changes in the final 30 seconds.

Toronto had taken a 125-124 edge after Gradey Dick stole Young's errant pass and fed Scottie Barnes for a breakaway dunk with 7.4 seconds remaining.

Bey added a season-high 13 rebounds and was one of four Atlanta starters to record double-doubles as the Hawks halted a four-game losing streak. Young finished with 30 points and 12 assists, Clint Capela had 19 points and 14 rebounds and Jalen Johnson recorded 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Barnes had 10 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter to help the Raptors battle back after trailing 115-108 with under 5 1/2 minutes left, but Toronto was ultimately dealt a fifth straight loss and ninth in 10 games.

Jordan Nwora scored a season-high 24 points off the bench to go along with nine rebounds and six assists for the Raptors, who were playing without three key players as forward RJ Barrett, guard Immanuel Quickley and centre Jakob Poeltl all sat out with injuries. 

 

 

Damian Lillard said he had rediscovered his rhythm after his season-high 45 points helped the Milwaukee Bucks past the struggling Detroit Pistons on Saturday.

Lillard became the first player in Milwaukee history to finish a game with at least 40 points, 10 assists and five three-pointers as they opened their double-header in Detroit with a 141-135 success.

The guard's dominant performance came after he went seven of 20 shooting in a blowout defeat to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, and coach Adrian Griffin was delighted with his response. 

"Dame was so great tonight, and he was competing on both sides of the ball," Griffin said after Saturday's win.

"I had no idea he had 45, but he's a rhythm player and he definitely got into a rhythm out there. He made big shots, and that's why he's on this team."

Lillard echoed his coach's sentiments, saying: "I knew it was an important game. I picked my spots. I moved the ball when I needed to move it. I attacked when I needed to attack.

"I've been slowly getting back to how I play more naturally and tonight was one of those nights."

Milwaukee were boosted by the return of two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who added 31 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists after missing the Cleveland game with a shoulder issue.

Antetokounmpo had chances to boost that tally, missing with 11 of 22 free-throw attempts, but Griffin was pleased with his overall contribution. 

"Giannis was big on both ends," Griffin said. "He got us some stops at the start of the second half and he was aggressive with the ball and getting to the rim. 

"When he draws fouls, he gets us to the bonus faster than a lot of teams, and that's invaluable."

The Bucks are now up to 29-13 after winning four of their last five games, ahead of another meeting with the Pistons at Little Caesars Arena on Monday. 

Victor Wembanyama was delighted to make a "statement" with his first NBA triple-double on Wednesday, having helped the San Antonio Spurs past the Detroit Pistons with a dominant display.

Last year's number one draft pick finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists at Little Caesars Arena as the Spurs ended a five-game losing streak with a 130-108 win over their struggling opponents.

In doing so, Wembanyama – at the age of 20 years and six days – became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double with no turnovers since turnovers were first tracked in 1977-78, surpassing Andre Iguodala, who did so aged 21 years and 54 days in 2005.

Wembanyama's achievement was made all the more impressive by the fact he played just 21 minutes and two seconds overall, the second-fewest minutes needed for a triple-double in the shot-clock era (since 1954-55).

The Frenchman was under a minute away from the outright record, with Russell Westbrook having recorded a triple-double in 20 minutes and 17 seconds for the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2014, against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Speaking after the win, Wembanyama said of his landmark performance: "Doing it in a win is everything, of course. I didn't know it was the second-fastest in NBA history. 

"It matters to me. I'm not the type to talk for nothing. This is the kind of statement we want to make as a team, and this is the type of statement I want to make as a player."

The Pistons were one of the teams who had hoped to recruit Wembanyama, with Detroit having failed to secure the first overall draft pick despite finishing with the league's worst record last year.

Asked about Detroit's previous interest in him, Wembanyama said: "It's weird to imagine a different future and what could have been."

Detroit also have the worst record in the NBA this season, sitting at 3-35 after losing six straight games. Their current losing run started after a win over the Toronto Raptors in late December, which itself halted a joint-record 28-game losing streak.

Pistons coach Monty Williams was unimpressed after a poor first quarter set the tone for another disappointing outing, saying: "The focus and discipline wasn't there.

"There's nobody to look at other than me, not having guys ready to play."

Jayson Tatum scored 26 of his season high-tying 45 points in the fourth quarter and overtime and the Boston Celtics remained unbeaten at home with a 127-120 victory Wednesday over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Jaylen Brown added 35 points and 11 rebounds to help the Celtics improve to 18-0 at home for the first time in franchise history. They have won 25 consecutive regular-season home games, dating back to last March.

Anthony Edwards scored 29 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 25 with 13 rebounds for the Western Conference-leading Timberwolves, who trail only Boston overall.

Tatum scored the game’s final nine points after Nickeil Alexander-Walker’s 3-pointer with 2:44 left in overtime gave Minnesota a 120-118 lead.

Tatum made a pair of free throws, a driving layup and sank a 3-pointer to make it 125-120 with 51 seconds to play. His two free throws with 13 seconds remaining capped the scoring.

Wembanyama has triple-double in Spurs’ win

Victor Wembanyama notched his first NBA triple-double with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 130-108 win over the Detroit Pistons in a matchup of two of the league’s worst teams.

Wembanyama achieved the milestone in just 21 minutes, going 6 of 16 from the field while missing all four of his 3-point attempts.

In NBA history, only Russell Westbrook had a triple-double in fewer minutes (20) for Oklahoma City in 2014.

San Antonio had eight players score in double figures, including Keldon Johnson (17) and Devin Vassell (16), to snap a five-game slide.

Jalen Duren had 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Pistons, who dropped their sixth in a row since breaking their NBA record-tying 28-game losing streak.

Pelicans start fast in win over Warriors

Jonas Valanciunas had 21 points and nine rebounds and Zion Williamson added 19 points, seven assists and five rebounds to lead the New Orleans Pelicans to a 141-105 win over the Golden State Warriors.

The Pelicans had eight players score in double digits in their sixth win in seven games. They scored 46 points in the first quarter and led by 25 midway through the second.

Moses Moody scored 21 points off the bench for the Warriors, who have lost six of eight.

Golden State's 36-point loss was its largest at home since a 37-point defeat to San Antonio on March 26, 2007. 

Domantas Sabonis notched his ninth triple-double of the season with 37 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds to lead the Sacramento Kings to a 131-110 win over the lowly Detroit Pistons.

Sabonis shot 16 of 21 from the field, made his only 3-point attempt and was 4 of 4 from the free throw line. He moves within two triple-doubles of Denver’s Nikola Jokic for the league lead.

Keegan Murray scored 32 points on 13-of-17 shooting and De’Aaron Fox added 26 for the Kings, winners of five of seven.

Bojan Bogdanovic led Detroit with 26 points as the Pistons dropped their fifth in a row since ending their NBA-record 28-game losing streak.

Sacramento trailed by 20 points in the first quarter, led by 15 in the third, were tied in the fourth and then pulled away with a 9-0 run in the fourth.

Anunoby helps Knicks stay hot

OG Anunoby scored 23 points and Julius Randle added 20 with eight assists and seven rebounds as the New York Knicks won their fifth in a row, 112-84 over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Anunoby scored 16 points in the first quarter to help the Knicks open a 19-point lead. He shot 6 of 7 from the floor – 4 of 5 from 3-point range – and might have approached his season high of 29 points but the starters played sparingly in the second half.

New York is unbeaten since acquiring Anunoby from Toronto on Dec. 30.

Quentin Grimes had 17 points and Miles McBride had 16 as the Knicks moved a half-game ahead of Miami, Orlando, Indiana and Cleveland for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

Davis shines in Lakers’ win

Anthony Davis scored 20 of his season-high 41 points in the fourth quarter and the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Toronto Raptors, 132-131.

Davis was 13 of 17 from the field and 13 of 14 from the free throw line while adding 11 rebounds and six assists. He made all eight free throw attempts in the final minute as the Lakers held on despite late 3-pointers by Toronto’s Dennis Schröder and Gary Trent Jr.

LeBron James had 22 points and 12 assists to help the Lakers win their second straight after a four-game skid.

Scottie Barnes scored 26 points and RJ Barrett added 23 with 10 rebounds for the Raptors, who had won three of four.

  

Detroit Pistons coach Monty Williams was "almost in tears" after Saturday's 129-127 win over the Toronto Raptors, which saw his team avoid setting a new record for most consecutive NBA losses.

Detroit matched the longest losing run in NBA history on Thursday, when they blew a 21-point lead against the Boston Celtics to equal the Philadelphia 76ers' record of 28 straight losses covering the end of 2014-15 and the start of 2015-16.

The Pistons – who were on the worst single-season losing streak in league history – could have taken that unwanted record outright when they welcomed Toronto to Little Caesars Arena, but Cade Cunningham starred as they avoided doing so.

The third-year guard had 30 points and 12 assists as the Pistons clinched victory over their short-handed opponents by going 11 for 12 from the free throw line in the final minute.

Asked about the mood in the Detroit camp after the team's first win since October 28, Williams said: "I've been a ton of locker rooms my whole life, and that's a first for me, to have that. 

"It wasn't relief, it was like: 'Thank God'. Guys were screaming. I was almost in tears. I'm just so happy for our guys. I'm happy for everybody.

"Sometimes it just takes a win like that to get things started. I just have so much respect for our team."

Cunningham, who hit back-to-back three-pointers in a crucial fourth-quarter stretch to pull Detroit clear, added: "I feel amazing.

"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."

Pascal Siakam scored 35 points and Dennis Schroder added 28 for the 12-20 Raptors, who traded O.G. Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn to the New York Knicks earlier on Saturday and were unable to field new arrivals RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley.

They sit 12th in the Eastern Conference after losing five of their last six games, while the last-place Pistons are at 3-29 ahead of a four-game road stretch starting against the Houston Rockets on Monday.

Coach Monty Williams was bullish about the Detroit Pistons' future despite the team matching the longest losing streak in NBA history on Thursday, when an improved performance was not enough to get them over the line against the Boston Celtics. 

The Pistons opened a 21-point lead in the first half as they went in search of a first win since October 28, but Jayson Tatum had 31 points for Boston as they turned things around to lead in the fourth quarter.

Bojan Bogdanovic made a putback with 4.6 seconds left to force overtime, but it was not to be for Detroit as Derrick White scored 10 of his 23 points in the extra period, helping the Celtics to a 128-122 success. 

Detroit have now lost their last 28 games, matching the Philadelphia 76ers' record losing run across the end of the 2014-15 season and the start of 2015-16.

They could take that unwanted record outright when they face the Toronto Raptors next time out, but an improved showing against the league's best side offered Williams encouragement.

"I'm unbelievably proud of the group, the way they bring it," Williams said after seeing his team slip to 2-29.

"They've heard all the stuff about our team and they just keep bringing it. I know it's going to pay off.

"As bad as they hurt right now, I hurt for them. But I told them; if we bring that kind of toughness and execution — minus the turnovers — we're not just going to win one game. 

"We're going to put something together."

Guard Cade Cunningham finished with 31 points, 22 of which came in the first half, though he missed a potential game-winning three-pointer with seven seconds remaining in regulation.

Like his coach, Cunningham said Detroit were not interested in winning purely to stop the rot, but as a platform for a lasting improvement.

"I'm not interested in just winning one more game this year to stop this, you know what I mean? That would be soft in my opinion," Cunningham said.

"Our goals are a lot higher than that. We have what it takes to win a game, that's nothing. 

"But to put games together, to find our system, find what's clicking and allow us to sustain winning…. That's all we're looking for.

"We're on the same level as all these teams we're playing against. There's no team that I've ever come across in the NBA where I felt like I was going into a slaughterhouse. I’ve never felt like that in my life, going into a basketball game.

"Every game, we should be able to fight teams and impose our will on them. We did that early on. 

"We let go of the rope a little bit in the third quarter. But there's a lot of growth, something we can learn from and definitely take to the next game."

The Detroit Pistons matched the longest losing streak in NBA history Thursday, blowing a 21-point lead before falling to the Boston Celtics 128-122 in overtime for their 28th straight loss.

The Pistons tied the Philadelphia 76ers, who lost 28 in a row starting in 2014-15 and into the 2015-16 season.

Detroit’s next chance to record its first win since Oct. 28 is Saturday against Toronto.

The Pistons opened a 21-point lead in the first half but trailed 106-100 in the final two minutes of regulation. Jaden Ivey scored six straight points to erase the deficit, then Bojan Bogdanovic made a putback with 4.6 seconds left to force OT.

Derrick White scored 10 of his 23 points in the extra period and Kristaps Porzingis added six to finish with 35.

Jayson Tatum had 31 points and 10 assists for league-leading Boston, which has won four straight and nine of its last 10 games.

Cade Cunningham led the Pistons with 31 points and nine assists, while Ivey finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds.

Jokic has another triple-double

Nikola Jokić registered 26 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists in less than three quarters to lead the Denver Nuggets to their sixth consecutive win, 142-105 over the short-handed Memphis Grizzlies.

Jokic was 11 of 11 from the field and hit all three free throws before going to the bench with 1:31 left in the third quarter. He notched his 11th triple-double of the season and 116th of his career, which ranks fourth in NBA history.

Desmond Bane had 23 points and Marcus Smart added 17 for the Grizzlies, who were without star guard Ja Morant. Memphis had a four-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 6-20 when Morant is out of the lineup.

Edwards leads Timberwolves past Mavericks

Anthony Edwards poured in a season-high 44 points and Rudy Gobert added 20 with 11 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 118-110 win over the Dallas Mavericks, who were without Luka Dončić.

Jaden McDaniels chipped in 12 points for Minnesota, which improved the Western Conference’s best record to 23-7.

With Doncic out on the second night of back-to-back games, Dallas lost its fifth in seven games. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 32 points off the bench and Jaden Hardy added 17 points.

The Detroit Pistons equalled the longest losing run in NBA history as they went down 128-122 to the Boston Celtics.

The Pistons, who broke the single-season record on Tuesday against Brooklyn Nets, forced overtime before going down to their 28th consecutive loss.

Defeat to the team with the league’s best record equals the record of the Philadelphia 76ers across two seasons in 2015.

Detroit did lead by 21 points in the first half, but needed a score from Bojan Bogdanovic to send the game into the first overtime of the losing streak.

Derrick White scored 10 points in the extra period as the Celtics pulled away. Cade Cunningham led Detroit with 31 points.

Toronto are next up for Detroit on Saturday as they look to avoid taking sole ownership of the record.

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