Cunningham’s big night can’t stop slumping Pistons from seventh straight loss

Detroit News
By Steve Kornacki |  Special to The Detroit News

The struggles continued Tuesday night for the Detroit Pistons, whose losing streak reached seven games in a 110-92 loss to the Trail Blazers in Portland.

Blazers rookie coach Chauncey Billups, who led Detroit to the 2004 NBA title, got his first win against his former team. Portland might be only 11-11 overall, but is now 10-1 at the Moda Center.

The Pistons were led by guard Cade Cunningham (career-high 26 points, five 3-pointers) and forward Jerami Grant (14 points), but had the game drift away from them quarter by quarter.

The Blazers were without their best player. Point guard Damian Lillard (22.0 points, 7.9 assists) suffered a core injury in Monday night’s game with Utah, but Anfernee Simons replaced him and scored 12 points with five assists.

Guard CJ McCollum paced Portland with 28 points, and center Jusuf Nurkic (13 points,  eight rebounds) was solid.

BOX SCORE: Blazers 110, Pistons 92

The Pistons dug themselves a hole in the first quarter with seven turnovers. But they still managed to trail by only six points, 27-21. Detroit drew fouls in the quarter and shot 9-for-11 at the free-throw line to keep it relatively close.

The turnovers were virtually eliminated in the second quarter. The Pistons only committed one. However, Portland still built a 12-point lead and led, 54-45, at the half.

Cunningham had a strong first half for Detroit. He made all four shots, including a pair of 3-pointers, and added four rebounds. Frank Jackson came off the bench to go 2-for-6 on treys and match the eight first-half points of Grant.

McCollum had 11 at the half for the Blazers.

The Blazers have had their way with the Pistons in Portland, and now have an 18-43 edge at home in the series between the teams that met in the 1990 NBA Finals — won by Detroit. The Pistons last won here in 2017.

Steve Kornacki is a freelance writer.

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