Detroit Pistons

Blake Griffin scores 44 points in his long-awaited return to Los Angeles

Blake Griffin didn't disappoint in his return to Los Angeles.

In his first game back since he was traded to Detroit, Griffin carried the Pistons to a 109-104 victory over his former team with 44 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. The five-time All-Star did so efficiently, shooting 13-for-23 from the field, 5-for-13 from the 3-point range and 13-for-14 from the free line.

Griffin got the game off to a strong start with 15 points in the first quarter. He did more of the same in the second quarter (11 points) to give the Pistons a 65-54 lead at the half.

The Pistons held onto their double-digit lead heading into the fourth quarter, only to see LA's bench come alive down the stretch, led by their one-two punch of Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell.

The Clippers tied the game up at 97 on a 3-pointer from Williams. Griffin then assisted on eight consecutive points for the Pistons before draining a hook shot that put them ahead 107-99.

The Clippers went on a run themselves but ultimately came up short - a steal from Bruce Brown with 21.2 second remaining followed by a pair of free throws sealed the deal for the Pistons.

Danilo Gallinari scored a team-high 23 points for the Clippers. Williams and Harrell, meanwhile, combined for 43 points off the bench.

Andre Drummond was Detroit's second-leading scorer with 20 points. He also had 21 rebounds, nine of which came on the offensive end.

The Pistons and Clippers will meet again on Feb. 3 in Detroit.

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