When Blake Griffin refused to shake hands with the Clippers owner Steve Balmer, everybody realized that the former franchise player of the less popular team from LA isn’t going to have any emotions towards his former club.
Though, he expressed his gratitude to the fans, who welcomed him as one of his own, with standing ovations and a huge noise.
However, the Clippers felt his anger in the first game at Staples since he got traded last season. Griffin was ruthless from the start, dropping 15 points in the opening quarter and finishing the night with 44 buckets 8 rebounds and 5 assists.
It was personal for Blake Griffin in his return to LA.
– Ignored Steve Ballmer pregame
– Dropped 44 points in a Pistons win over the Clippers 😤😤
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) January 12, 2019
He simply massacred his former team.
The Pistons were ahead almost during the entire match. They won the first period with 37-24, and continued in the same rhythm, heading for the break with a 14-point lead. Throughout the third sequence, the edge was more-less the same, but when the last quarter started the Clippers shifted into a higher gear and started cutting the deficit. They opened that part of the contest with a 12-2 run, and with something less under five minutes to go, Lou Williams made a downtown shot end leveled the score with 97 points each.
However, not long after that, the Pistons responded with 7 straight points and pulled away once again.
The essential moment of the whole game was when Bruce Bowen stole the ball from the home team and made both of his two free throws to lift the guests to a five-point lead, 109-104. It turned out to be the final score of this interesting competition.
Griffin became the player with the highest number of points in the first game against his previous team since 1978. That might give you a picture of his achievement tonight. And also, tell how big his motive was.
Blake Griffin today against his former team:
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 12, 2019
Besides him, Detroit had fantastic Andre Drummond with 20 points and 21 rebounds, nine of them offensive. Reggie Bullock added 17.
For the home team, Gallinari had 23 points, Harrel added 21 with 9 boards and 6 dimes, and Lou Williams posted 22.
Clippers allowed 16 three-pointers and were outrebounded, 48-38.
They are hosting New Orleans Pelicans next Monday, while Pistons conclude their tour through the West with a contest in Salt Lake City against Utah.