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.
Face your former team. Drop 44 points. @blakegriffin23 is our Player of the Game presented by @Jeep.- Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) January 12, 2019
By the way, https://t.co/8DW1gtGaxQ pic.twitter.com/Z3wPFdI4zS
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.
BIG TIME PLAYS. #PistonsNow pic.twitter.com/o5jbJrPDWe- Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) January 12, 2019
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.