What are the longest winning and losing streaks in NBA history?

The Detroit Pistons are in the midst of a historic losing streak

Cade Cunningham
Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images

Another game, another loss for the Detroit Pistons.

The Pistons stunningly raced out to a 21-point first-half lead against the NBA-best Celtics in Boston on Thursday, but it wasn't enough to lead to a victory. Boston stormed back in the third quarter and then outlasted the Pistons in overtime to hand Detroit a staggering 28th straight loss.

Detroit has gone two months without a victory, last beating the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 28. That win over Chicago improved the Pistons' record to 2-1, yet they now find themselves at 2-29 on the season as the new year approaches.

So, where does Detroit's losing streak rank among the longest in NBA history?

What is the longest losing streak in NBA history?

The Pistons are indeed the owners of the longest single-season losing streak in NBA history at 28 games and counting. The previous record was 26, a streak that both the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers and the 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers endured.

The Pistons' 28 straight defeats also match the longest overall losing streak in league history. The Sixers lost their final 10 games of the 2014-15 season before dropping the first 18 games of the 2015-16 campaign for a 28-game skid.

The Detroit Pistons have made history for all the wrong reasons. After suffering their 27th straight loss, Kazeem "Kaz" Famuyide, host of the “Count It” podcast, gives his predictions on when the streak will be snapped.

Detroit will now have to beat the Toronto Raptors at home on Saturday to avoid a record-breaking 29th straight loss.

Here’s a full look at the longest single-season losing streaks in NBA history:

1. Detroit Pistons, 2023-24: 28

T-2. Cleveland Cavaliers, 2010-11: 26

T-2. Philadelphia 76ers, 2013-14: 26

T-4. Vancouver Grizzlies, 1995-96: 23

T-4. Denver Nuggets, 1997-98: 23

T-4. Charlotte Bobcats, 2011-12: 23

T-7. Philadelphia 76ers, 1972-73: 20

T-7. Dallas Mavericks, 1993-94: 20

T-7. Houston Rockets, 2020-21: 20

*Bolded denotes streaks that are currently in progress

What is the longest winning streak in NBA history?

The Los Angeles Lakers won an NBA-record 33 straight games in 1971-72. Despite losing Elgin Baylor to retirement early in the season, the Lakers didn’t drop a single matchup from Nov. 11, 1971, to Jan. 2, 1972. Of course, L.A. still had Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West, and they went on to capture the 1972 championship.

The Golden State Warriors have the second-longest winning streak overall at 28 games, stretching from the end of the 2014-15 season (four straight wins) into the beginning of the 2015-16 season (24 straight wins).

But the team that’s come closest to matching the Lakers’ single-season record is the 2012-13 Miami Heat. The Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh won 27 consecutive games in their third season together. The Chicago Bulls snapped Miami’s streak with a 101-97 win on March 27, 2013. However, the Heat would get payback in the playoffs, beating Chicago in the Eastern Conference semifinals en route to a second consecutive championship.

The 2015-16 Warriors (24 straight wins), 2007-08 Houston Rockets (22) and 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks (20) are the only other teams in NBA history to win at least 20 consecutive games in one season.

Here are all of the teams who have won at least 19 straight in one season:

1. Los Angeles Lakers, 1971-72: 33

2. Miami Heat, 2012-13: 27

3. Golden State Warriors, 2015-16: 24

4. Houston Rockets, 2007-08: 22

5. Milwaukee Bucks, 1970-71: 20

T-6. Los Angeles Lakers, 1999-2000: 19

T-6. Boston Celtics, 2008-09: 19

T-6. San Antonio Spurs, 2013-14: 19

T-6. Atlanta Hawks, 2014-15: 19

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