ORLANDO, Fla. — Another one bites the dust.
The Pistons were overwhelmed by the Orlando Magic in an ugly 123-89 loss on Friday night, which extended their franchise-record single-season losing streak to 19 games.
For seemingly every missed shot, there was a turnover made shortly after that made matters worse for the Pistons. For missed defensive assignments, there were fouls that sent the Magic to the foul line.
It was another day and another loss, which has become a familiar feeling as the Pistons were outmatched by the Magic's physicality in the frontcourt.
Magic forward Franz Wagner totaled a game-high 27 points on 12-of-20 shooting from the field. Paolo Banchero exerted his will on the Pistons' thin frontcourt and scored 24 points with four rebounds. Cole Anthony paced the Magic off the bench and produced 16 points with six assists. Goga Bitadze was a force inside with 13 points and eight rebounds on 6-of-7 shooting.
The Magic scored 74 points in the paint, while the Pistons struggled to convert inside with 40 point paints. The Pistons struggled to generate offense outside of their starters with 29 points off the bench.
Without starting center Jalen Duren due a left ankle sprain that will keep him sidelined for the next two weeks, Pistons coach Monty Williams inserted Marvin Bagley III into the first unit. Bagley had a good start, but finished with just nine points and five rebounds before leaving the game in the third quarter with back spasms.
Cade Cunningham, Killian Hayes and Alec Burks led the Pistons in scoring. Cunningham finished with 21 points and six assists, but showed frustration throughout the game for not getting the benefit of some officiating calls. Hayes continued his efficient stretch with a team-high 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists on 7-of-10 shooting from the field.
Cunningham totaled 14 points and six assists. Burks was the only source of offense off the Pistons' bench with 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field, which was a welcome sight for Detroit considering his recent shooting struggles.
Pistons wing Joe Harris returned to the lineup after missing 14 games due to a shoulder injury, but he went scoreless in three minutes off the bench.
The Pistons are two consecutive losses away from tying the longest overall losing streak in franchise history, which was 21 games set over the course of two seasons from March 3, 1979 to Oct. 22, 1980. Nine straight losses separate Detroit from the NBA's worst losing streak of 28 games, set by the Philadelphia 76ers over the course of two seasons in 2014-15 and ‘15-16.
The Pistons will return home for a game against the Indiana Pacers on Monday. The Pacers, who boast one of the most potent offenses in the NBA, will face the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday in the championship game of the inaugural In-Season Tournament.
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