Day'Ron Sharpe of the Nets, right, goes up against the Pistons...

Day'Ron Sharpe of the Nets, right, goes up against the Pistons at Barclays Center on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2023. Credit: James Escher

Near the end of the Nets’ 126-115 win over the Pistons on Saturday night, a few fans at Barclays Center started a brief “27!” chant.

Twenty-seven is the history awaiting the Pistons after they were handed their 26th consecutive loss. They tied the NBA single-season record set by the 2010-11 Cavaliers and 2013-14 76ers.

The Pistons’ last win? Oct. 28, when they were 2-1 and the Nets were 0-2.

The Nets, of course, have won plenty since then, but they too entered this game on a losing streak — a five-game skid that dropped them under .500 and prompted questions about lineup changes and Mikal Bridges’ shooting woes.

Both were righted, at least for one game. Bridges shot 9-for-17 from the field and finished with 29 points. It was his most efficient shooting game since Dec. 8, and the Nets (14-15) badly needed it.

“They’re desperate to get a win and the whole world knows their losing streak,” Bridges said. “They’re going to come out and play hard, but we’re desperate, too, so just went out there, played hard and tried to definitely win this game.”

The teams will meet again Tuesday in Detroit with history on the line. If the Nets win, the Pistons will have 27 consecutive losses, the longest in-season losing streak in NBA history. It’s also one shy of tying the record for longest overall losing streak, 28 games over two seasons set by the 2014-15 and 2015-16 76ers.

The Nets, of course, won’t worry about that. For them, Tuesday is a chance to get back to .500 and keep fixing their own issues.

“We needed this win and I know we’re going to play them again,” Bridges said. “But we needed that. We had a streak of our own going and just wanted to start a streak going on the good side.”

Bridges scored his most points in nine games. All five starters were among the seven Nets who scored in double figures.

The Pistons (2-27) didn’t make the game easy. The Nets led by 13 in the first quarter, but the lead was cut to single digits by the third. They got within 77-75 on a layup by Jaden Ivey.

Cam Johnson calmed things down with a layup and the Nets ended the quarter on a 21-7 run.

“Another test for us to see where we want to keep our poise and composure,” coach Jacque Vaughn said. “Overall we did and that was both units. Both units got a little piece of that, that effort as well. So when we’re healthy, we’re able to depend on more bodies to do good things for us.”

The Nets took a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter, but the Pistons made one last push to cut it to 10 with 4:04 left. Johnson came through with a pair of free throws and a three-pointer to extend the lead to 15.

The Nets scored 22 points off 14 Pistons turnovers and added 18 second-chance points to the Pistons’ nine. They also had 31 assists, the second consecutive game with at least 30, and shot 52.3% from the field.

“You got to be able to weather the storms and be able to fight back,” said Johnson, who had 18 points. “The bench came in and did a fantastic job giving that buffer and from there, they’re playing catch-up.”

Cam Thomas had 20 points to extend his 20-point streak to five games. Ivey had 23 points and Cade Cunningham scored 17 of his 22 points in the second half for the Pistons.

The game was a return to Barclays Center for Joe Harris, whom the Nets traded to the Pistons last offseason. Harris, who spent seven seasons with the Nets, played seven minutes and was held scoreless.


Team                                           Season                                Games lost

Cleveland Cavaliers                     2010-11                                      26

Philadelphia 76ers                        2013-14                                     26 (tie)

Detroit Pistons                              2023-24                                     26 (tie)

Vancouver Grizzlies                      1995-96                                     23

Denver Nuggets                            1997-98                                     23 (tie)

Charlotte Bobcats                          2011-12                                     23 (tie)

NOTE: The Philadelphia 76ers lost 28 games in a row over the 2014-15 (10 games) and 2015-16 (18) seasons, and the Cleveland Cavaliers lost 24 straight over the 1981-82 (19) and 1982-83 (5) seasons.

More Brooklyn Nets

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months