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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Blake Griffin scored 44 factors in his return to Staples Heart for the primary time towards his outdated crew and the Detroit Pistons beat the Los Angeles Clippers 109-104 on Saturday to snap a four-game skid.
Griffin was greeted with cheers throughout pregame introductions and acquired a standing ovation after a first-quarter video tribute from the crew that drafted him first general in 2009.
He caught his proper arm within the air after which introduced his raised fingers collectively in a grateful gesture with out smiling. He clearly wished to beat the crew that stunningly traded him final January after he had signed a $171 million, five-year extension.
It confirmed from the beginning.
Griffin scored 15 factors within the opening quarter when he received razzed by superfan Clipper Darrell throughout free throw makes an attempt. He had 26 factors within the first half to assist Detroit to a 65-54 lead.
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“Hey Blake, we miss you however sufficient for tonight, OK?” a Clippers fan implored.
Griffin wasn’t completed.
His 3-pointer to start out the third and a basket by Andre Drummond pushed Detroit to a 16-point lead. Griffin had a one-hand slam paying homage to his outdated Lob Metropolis days.
Griffin briefly left the court docket close to the tip of the third. He wore a wrap round his waist earlier than coming into for the fourth.
The Clippers tied it at 97 on a 3-pointer by Lou Williams after outscoring the Pistons 17-7 to open the fourth.
Reggie Bullock had two 3-pointers round Drummond’s dunk and Griffin’s hook for a 107-99 lead.
The Clippers received inside three and Griffin missed two 3-pointers within the closing seconds.
He stepped out of bounds within the nook of the baseline whereas making an attempt to avoid wasting a cross and fell backward, crashing into followers and the ground.
Bruce Brown stole the ball with 20 seconds left, received fouled by Danilo Gallinari and made each to maintain Detroit forward 109-104. Gallinari’s jumper missed within the waning seconds.
Drummond had 20 factors and 21 rebounds for the Pistons, who had misplaced 9 of 11. Bullock completed with 17.
Gallinari led the Clippers with 23 factors. Williams added 22 factors, and Harrell had 21 factors and 9 rebounds.
Griffin averaged 21.6 factors, 9.Three rebounds and 4.2 assists in eight seasons for the Clippers. He was the Rookie of the 12 months and a five-time All-Star with the franchise.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers mentioned he and Griffin haven’t spoken for the reason that commerce. However Rivers credited him for the franchise’s resurgence.
“Blake received this began,” Rivers mentioned earlier than the sport. “Six playoffs in a row. It doesn’t equate to being the winner as a result of we didn’t do this nevertheless it equates to profitable. Blake was a part of that. Now whenever you hear our identify you don’t consider these unhealthy Clippers earlier than Blake.”
Pistons: Drummond had his NBA-leading ninth sport of at the least 20 factors and 20 rebounds. … Griffin performed at Staples on Wednesday night time when the Pistons misplaced to the Lakers 113-100. … C Zaza Pachulia (proper decrease leg contusion) missed his seventh straight sport. … G Ish Smith (proper adductor tear) sat out his 19th straight sport.
Clippers: They misplaced their first sport towards Griffin’s Pistons in Detroit inside days of final 12 months’s commerce. Griffin had 19 factors in that sport.
Pistons: At Utah on Monday night time within the finale of four-game Western swing.
Clippers: Host New Orleans on Monday night time.
Extra AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
The Related Press contributed to this report.
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