DETROIT — Close, but no cigar.
The Pistons kept a game competitive again for three quarters, but came up short again in the fourth to keep their franchise-record losing streak going.
Detroit lost its 17th consecutive game with a 110-101 defeat to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night at Little Caesars Arena.
The Pistons trailed by three with three minutes left, but couldn't stop the Cavs when it counted. They also committed five of their 16 turnovers in the fourth quarter, which is one of the main failings of their losing streak. It was another case of wash, rinse and repeat as Detroit lost its ninth-straight home game.
The Pistons welcomed back Bojan Bogdanovic, who made his long-awaited season debut after missing the first 19 games due to a right calf strain. His presence was a breath of fresh air for Detroit and he scored 22 off the bench. With 4:20 left, Bogdanovic called his own number and drilled a side-step 3-pointer over Jarrett Allen to bring the Pistons within three. He had an opportunity to tie the score on the next possession, but missed long.
That was Detroit's final chance as Donovan Mitchell scored eight of his 20 in the final quarter to help the Cavs put the Pistons away for the second time this season.
Jalen Duren regained his dominance and recorded a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds on a perfect 8-of-8 shooting. The second-year center also had two blocks, including a clutch rejection on Cavs center Evan Mobley in the fourth quarter. However, he struggled at the free-throw line, making one of six.
Cade Cunningham flirted with a triple-double and finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists.
Bogdanovic was on a minutes restriction, so he only played 27 minutes, but they were valuable as he made plays on both ends of the floor. He received a warm ovation from the fans inside the arena and after he connected on his first 3-pointer of the game, he celebrated by blowing a kiss to the spectators.
Cavaliers guard Darius Garland led his team with 22 points and six assists. Max Strus also scored 22 with five rebounds and five assists. Allen added a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds.
The Pistons will get three days to prepare for Wednesday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies, one of two missing games that were added to the schedule once the quarterfinal round match-ups of the In-Season Tournament were solidified.
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