Pistons’ 21-game losing streak among NBA’s longest droughts: What’s the record?

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The Detroit Pistons’ 129-111 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers set a record for the longest losing streak in franchise history.

The Pistons, now 2-22, started their season 2-1 with wins against the Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls but lost their next 21 games.

Detroit’s last win came on Oct. 28 in a 118-102 victory over the Bulls.

The Pistons allow an average of 118 points per game and are scoring only 108 — the third-lowest average in the league, better than only the Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail Blazers.

Only seven other franchises in NBA history have had losing streaks of 20 or more games. Here’s a look at their runs of futility:


Consecutive losses: 26

Overall record: 19-63

After the Cavs were eliminated in the semifinals of the 2010 playoffs, LeBron James became an unrestricted free agent.

In his announcement special, “The Decision,” James revealed that he would “take his talents to South Beach” and sign with the Miami Heat.

The first season after James’ departure, the Cavaliers lost 26 games in a row, setting the record for the longest losing streak in NBA history.


Philadelphia 76ers, 2013-14

Consecutive losses: 26

Overall record: 19-63

The Sixers were coached by Brett Brown and led by Thaddeus Young, who averaged just 17.9 points per game.

The 76ers had only 15 wins before entering their NBA record-tying 26-game slump, then won only four more games the entire season.


Charlotte Bobcats, 2011-12

Consecutive losses: 23

Overall record: 7-59

The Bobcats averaged just 87 points per game, ranking last in the league, and finished the season with the worst record of all time.


Consecutive losses: 23

Overall record: 11-71

Twenty-six years before winning an NBA championship in 2023, the Nuggets compiled one of the longest losing streaks ever recorded. On a team where LaPhonso Ellis was the leading scorer with 14.3 points per game, the Nuggets had only two players who played the entire 82-game season.

Denver ranked second to last in points per game as a team, averaging 89 points but allowing its opponents to score 100.8 points. The Nuggets finished the season with the worst record in the league.


Vancouver Grizzlies, 1995-96

Consecutive losses: 23

Overall record: 15-67

Vancouver nearly had two 20-game losing streaks in the same season. The Grizzlies started 2-0, including an overtime win over rookie Kevin Garnett and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Immediately afterward, they lost 19 straight games.

Coming off the All-Star break, the Grizzlies collected a 93-86 win over the Sacramento Kings before taking another steep drop and losing 23 in a row.


Consecutive losses: 20

Overall record: 17-55

In 2020, the Rockets — led by James Harden — made it to the semifinals of the playoffs before being eliminated by the Los Angeles Lakers.

The following season, the Rockets started 3-6, and Harden soon requested a trade from the franchise. The All-Star guard was involved in a four-way trade that sent him to the Brooklyn Nets for a trio of first-round draft picks with a handful of pick swaps.

The Rockets finished last in the Western Conference.


Consecutive losses: 20

Overall record: 13-69

In the 1992-93 season, the Mavericks finished 11-71 — the worst record in franchise history. The following season, they picked up where they left off with three consecutive losses before earning a win against the Timberwolves. During their 20-game skid, the Mavs failed to reach 100 points in 15 matchups.


Philadelphia 76ers, 1972-73

Consecutive losses: 20

Overall record: 9-73

The Sixers’ season began with a 15-game skid before they clinched a two-point win against the Rockets in San Antonio.

Philadelphia won only four games before losing 20 straight. The 76ers’ season ended with 13 consecutive losses, and the team finished with just nine wins.



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