Pistons blow 19-point halftime lead vs. Celtics, lose OT thriller to tie 76ers for longest losing streak in NBA history

For a half on Thursday, the Detroit Pistons looked poised for one of the biggest upsets in NBA history.

In the end, they did what they did best. They lost. The Celtics rallied from a 19-point halftime deficit to tie the game in the third quarter then held on in an overtime thriller for a 128-122 win. The loss was the 28th straight for the Pistons, tying the 2014-15/15-16 Process-era Philadelphia 76ers for the longest losing streak in NBA history.

The Pistons went to Boston Thursday as 17.5-point underdogs, fresh off securing the longest single-season losing streak in league history. Sparked by a 22-point first half from Cade Cunningham, they stunned the TD Garden crowd by opening a 66-47 halftime lead.

Celtics rally in 3rd before wild 4th quarter

It came apart in the third quarter that saw the Celtics rally to tie the game at 82-82. The Celtics then took their first lead of the game with a Derrick White jump shot to open the fourth. The Pistons remained poised and battled in a back-and-forth fourth quarter that saw the Celtics take a lead in the final seconds of regulation on a close goaltending call.

Boston had a chance to win in regulation after the call gave them a 108-106 lead with 8.1 seconds remaining. Cade Cunningham sent back a Jayson Tatum layup near the glass that was called goaltending on the floor.

Was it goaltending?

Officials spent several moments reviewing the play before concluding that there was no "clear and conclusive evidence to overturn the call on the floor."

But the Pistons weren't done. Cunningham had a look from the corner on the other end for a go-ahead 3-pointer. Jrue Holiday got a hand up on the shot, and it bounced off the side of the rim. But Bojan Bogdanovic was there for the rebound and the putback to tie the game at 108-108.

Tatum had a look at the other end for a game-winner in regulation, but it bounced off the rim to send the game to overtime.

The teams continued to trade blows in the extra session before a Holiday and-1 gave the Celtics the lead for good at 116-115 with 2:13 remaining in overtime. The Pistons led twice in the extra session and battled one of the league's best teams in an effort to fend off further NBA history. It just wasn't enough to avoid a 28th straight loss to drop to 2-29 on the season.

Cade Cunningham gives it his best

After his 22-point first half, Cunningham finished the game with 31 points, nine assists and six steals while shooting 12 of 22 from the field and 4 of 6 from 3-point distance. It was another big effort in a landmark loss after he scored 41 in Tuesday's loss to the Brooklyn Nets that was a single-season record 27th straight. Jaden Ivey tallied 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Bogdanovic added 17 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.

Tatum scored 12 points in the third quarter that sparked the Boston rally en route to 31 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds and five steals. Kristaps Porzingis posted 35 points and eight rebounds with 29 of his points arriving after halftime. He scored several big buckets in the fourth quarter and overtime to keep the Pistons at bay.

The Celtics avoided their own disgrace with the win. With Boston boasting the best record in basketball, it was widely viewed as a given that Detroit would tie the record on Thursday. The only question on the minds of most was if the Pistons would eventually claim the record for their own. They'll now have the chance on Saturday against the Toronto Raptors.