Los Angeles, CA.— Former first overall pick Blake Griffin finally returned back to Staples Center to face his former team after they had traded him away back in January of 2018. He received a standing ovation from the Clippers faithful during the first quarter and griffin stood up and raise his right hand and put both his hands together in a gracious fashion.
From then on, it was all business for Griffin against his former team.
Griffin averaged 21.6 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists in eight seasons for the Clippers. He was the Rookie of the Year and a five-time All-Star with the franchise.
Photo By: AP/ Ringo H.W Chiu
He finished with a game-high 44 (26 in 1st half), 8 rebounds, and 5 assist. He made 13-14 from the free throw line and was 5-13 from 3-pt. The Detroit Pistons (18-23) defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 109-104 on Saturday afternoon. Griffin wanted to make a statement against his former team and it showed from the tip.
Detroit had Los Angeles down 37-24 after the first quarter, Griffin had 11. They led for most of the game until Los Angeles was able to cut in the deficient and ultimately catch them at 97 in the 4th because of a 17-7 run to begin the 3rd. It wasn’t enough for LA, as Detroit was able to hold them off and Griffin was able to secure the win against his former team.
"Down the stretch we played great defense, got stops and protected the ball and that was the difference," Griffin said. "The Clippers are a tough team. They had three guys who come off the bench on the floor at the end of the game. It was a well-balanced and great win for us." He knew there would be a lot of emotions surrounding the game, “There was a lot of hype coming into this game and I was looking forward to it, but I'm glad that it's over," he said. "The next time I come it won't be as crazy."
They were able to rebound Los Angeles 48-38 thanks to the 14 extra possessions they were able to obtain because of offensive rebounds, and they were also a +21 from 3-pt typically not their strong suit as they have only shot 33% on the year from distance.
All-Star Andre Drummond had a big game along with Griffin scoring 20 points and grabbing 21 rebounds (9 off).
Photo By: SLAM
“We're really happy to get the win for Blake," Reggie Bullock said who chipped in 17 points making 5-10 from 3-pt. Griffin and Clippers guard Patrick Beverly exchange words as Detroit was on the verge of finishing off LA
Head Coach Doc Rivers said after the game about what former All-Star Griffin did for this Clipper franchise: “Blake got this started, six playoffs in a row. It doesn't equate to being the winner because we didn't do that but it equates to winning. Blake was part of that. Now when you hear our name you don't think of those bad Clippers before Blake."
Lou Williams (22 points) and Danilo Gallinari (23 points) led the way for Los Angeles.
Photo By: Kelvin Kuo/ USA Today Sports
Rivers and Griffin according to reports have not spoken since the trade. Montrezl Harrel who had 21 points and 9 rebounds said after the game, “That's a love lost there those two got to work out." Los Angeles now moves to 24-18 on the season.
Detroit travels to play Utah on Monday night.
Clippers Next Game: Monday 1/14 vs New Orleans Pelicans