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Detroit Pistons rookie Cade Cunningham records first career triple-double

The Pistons lost to the Lakers on Sunday night.

DETROIT -- For the second time in four games Detroit Pistons rookie, Cade Cunningham has made history. On Sunday, the top overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft recorded his first career triple-double and joined some pretty good company.

The Arlington, TX native scored 13 points, had a career-high 12 rebounds and doled out 10 assists. He tied for first in assists with Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook in the league by the end of Sunday night’s slate of games and ranked fourth in the league in rebounds.

He became just the third rookie in Pistons history to record a triple-double. He joined Dave DeBusschere and Grant Hill. He is also the first rookie in franchise history to have a triple-double within 11 games. Cunningham is the 13th player in NBA history with a triple-double through 11 career games

At 20 years and 57 days, he is the youngest player in Pistons history and the eighth-youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double. That list includes LaMelo Ball, Markelle Fultz, Luka Doncic, Lonzo Ball, LeBron James, Dennis Smith Jr. and Lamar Odom.

Though he had some rust to shake off after a late start to his rookie campaign, Cunningham has shown steady progress throughout his first 11 games. He’s averaging 14.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game on 35 percent shooting from the field and 25.3 percent shooting from three.

Through the last five though, despite his still having some trouble shooting from outside, he’s shown that he is starting to step into his own. He’s averaged 16.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 6.8 assists on 39.5 percent shooting in the field and 27.3 percent shooting from long range.

He’s seeing the floor better and helping the Pistons move the ball in a way that finds the right shooter at the right time. On Sunday the Pistons ended the night with 27 assists after a blazing first half where they had 20.

For Cunningham, his assists were responsible for 25 of the Pistons points. He found Grant on three of his five three-pointers during Detroit’s 12-3 run at the end of the second quarter. He also found Frank Jackson and Cory Joseph on another pair of threes.

It’s the second time within the last week that the rookie has made history. In Monday’s loss to the Sacramento Kings, Cunningham was two rebounds and two assists shy of a triple-double. He scored 25 points, had eight rebounds and eight assists to join a few famous names who accomplished the feat in their rookie season.

While Cunningham said he was happy with his triple-double, he said winning the game would have been sweeter.

“I think we did a lot of good things today, but it’s just another step that we need to take,” Cunningham said after the game. “I think we made some progress, but now we know we have to close out fourth quarters better, and things like that.

“I’m happy to see that I was able to accomplish something like that, that’s big time. But, I think winning the game is even greater than that, so I am still going to go home kind of sour that we lost. But, just try to get better, talk to the team, get our minds together and move forward.”

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