Josh Smith had 16 points and Andre Drummond added 13 points with 16 rebounds for the Pistons, who have lost four straight. They had two three-game losing streaks earlier in the season.
With the Pistons down 85-83 and 40 seconds left, Brandon Jennings missed a jumper, but Jonas Jerebko grabbed the rebound and fed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for the go-ahead 3-pointer.
Detroit struggled from the floor in the first half, shooting only 42.5 percent, and weren’t able to get the ball inside with any regularity.
Detroit’s starting backcourt struggled, as Jennings and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were a combined 7 of 27, with Caldwell-Pope missing 10 of his 11 shots.
Jennings made a tiebreaking 3-pointer to give Detroit an 87-84 lead with 2:32 left in overtime. He added another 3 while falling to the ground, increasing the Pistons’ advantage to 92-84.
Detroit, which lost for the third straight time and fell to 2-6, took a 13-point first quarter lead, thanks to Brandon Jennings, who scored 16 of his game-high 32 points in the quarter.
Jennings had begun to develop sort of a signature move now in the NBA — the fake behind-the-back pass, as he has made more than one defender look silly on that play.
Josh Smith had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Detroit, which was coming off a 97-96 home loss to Utah on Sunday. Greg Monroe had 16 points and 10 boards, and reserve D.J. Augustin scored 16.
Josh Smith went 5-14 from the floor two days after a 2-17 game, but had a key put back to give the Pistons a 97-93 lead with 15.1 seconds to play.
LeBron didn’t just join the Cleveland Cavaliers. He came to save the world, so to speak, to bring financial and spiritual lubricant to the Rust Belt, an area of America that has been lost to the the meat-hook realities of economics.