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Pistons ‘ Griffin dominates Clippers in return to Los Angeles

By Reuters - Jan 13,2019 - Last updated at Jan 13,2019

Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin steals a pass intended for Los Angeles Clippers forward Tobias Harris during their NBA game in Los Angeles, California, on Saturday (Reuters photo by Kelvin Kuo)

Blake Griffin took advantage of the first opportunity to show his former fans what they are missing, scoring 44 points on Saturday afternoon to lead the visiting Detroit Pistons to a 109-104 victory against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Griffin was drafted No. 1 overall by the Clippers in 2009 and spent his first eight seasons with them, helping the team reach the play-off in six straight years from 2012-17. He was traded to Detroit last January.

Detroit centre Andre Drummond added 20 points and 21 rebounds, including nine on the offensive end. Reggie Bullock, another former first-round pick of the Clippers, scored 17 points for the Pistons, who had lost nine of 11.

The starting line-up for the Clippers included two players who came to Los Angeles in the Griffin trade; forward Tobias Harris and guard Avery Bradley. Harris finished with 11 points, 10 below his scoring average, and 10 rebounds. Bradley finished with three points.

Danilo Gallinari led Los Angeles with 23 points, while Lou Williams scored 22 and Montrezl Harrell 21, both coming off the bench.

After trailing by as many as 16 early in the second half, the Clippers opened the fourth quarter with a 10-2 run to pull within two. Williams tied the score 97-97 with a 3-pointer with 4:45 left.

Bullock made two 3-pointers just over a minute apart to extend the lead to 105-99, and Griffin scored inside to make it 107-99 with 2:47 left.

The Clippers had the ball trailing by three in the final minute, but Bruce Brown made a steal from Williams with 21.2 seconds left, was fouled and sank both free throws.

Griffin, who had signed a five-year, $173 million contract six months before he was traded, did not shake the extended hand of Clippers owner Steve Ballmer during warm-ups, then went out and scored 15 points in the first quarter to help the Pistons to a 37-24 lead.

The Pistons maintained a 65-54 advantage at the half, then scored the first five points of the second half to take their biggest lead at 70-54.

 

Magic 105, Celtics 103

 

Jayson Tatum’s tying attempt at the buzzer missed, helping Orlando hold on late over visiting Boston and snapping a four-game losing streak.

Aaron Gordon had 11 points in the fourth quarter and led all scorers with 28 points along with 12 rebounds. 

Terrence Ross added 25 points off the bench, and Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and 13 rebounds. 

The Magic were coming off a disappointing road trip in which they went 1-5.

Kyrie Irving had 25 points, six assists and five rebounds, and Marcus Morris added 17 points and eight rebounds for the Celtics. Boston have lost back-to-back games, including to Miami on Thursday to end a four-game winning streak.

 

Heat 112, Grizzlies 108

 

Justise Winslow produced a game-high 26 points to go with seven rebounds and four assists as Miami defeated visiting Memphis.

Winslow made 10 of 16 shots, including 4 of 4 3-pointers, as Miami improved to 10-4 in its past 14 games. The score was tied at 108 with 56 seconds left when Miami’s Bam Adebayo made 1 of 2 free throws. The Heat led the rest of the way.

Memphis was led by reserve JaMychal Green, who had a double-double with 24 points and 11 rebounds in just 22 minutes. The Grizzlies lost for the seventh time in eight games.

 

Timberwolves 110, Pelicans 106

 

Karl-Anthony Towns had 27 points and 27 rebounds as host Minnesota held off New Orleans.

Andrew Wiggins added 18 points, Josh Okogie scored 17, Dario Saric and Tyus Jones had 14 each and Taj Gibson 10 for the Timberwolves.

Anthony Davis had 30 points and 14 rebounds, Jrue Holiday scored 25 points, Julius Randle added 22 points and 11 rebounds and Elfrid Payton had 10 points to lead the Pelicans, who saw a three-game winning streak end in the opener of a five-game road trip.

 

Thunder 122, Spurs 112

 

Dennis Schroder scored all 19 of his points in the second half as Oklahoma City picked up a come-from-behind victory over visiting San Antonio.

Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Paul George finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Marco Belinelli had a season-high 24 points off the bench to lead San Antonio. DeMar DeRozan added 18 while LaMarcus Aldridge, coming off a 56-point performance in Thursday’s 154-147 double-overtime win over the Thunder in San Antonio, scored 17 points.

 

Suns 102, Nuggets 93

 

Kelly Oubre Jr. and Richaun Holmes combined for 40 points off the bench as Phoenix’s reserves dominated their Denver counterparts in a home win over the Western Conference’s top team.

The Suns, who have the worst record in the West at 11-33, used a 10-0 flurry late in the first quarter to take a lead they never relinquished en route to their first win over the Nuggets in three tries this season.

Nikola Jokic had 23 points and 10 rebounds for Denver, which at 28-13 retained a half-game lead over Golden State atop the West.

Jazz 110, Bulls 102

 

Donovan Mitchell scored a game-high 34 points, and Utah rallied for a win over visiting Chicago.

Rudy Gobert flirted with a triple-double for the Jazz with 15 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists. Kyle Korver (16) and Joe Ingles (16) also scored in double digits for Utah, who outscored Chicago 29-20 in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

Chicago lost their seventh game in a row. Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 21 points, while Lauri Markkanen had 16 and three others had 11.

 

Kings 104, Hornets 97

 

Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 22 points, and Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox added 21 each as Sacramento fended off visiting Charlotte.

Bogdanovic hit four 3-pointers and Hield five as the Kings went 14 of 37 on treys overall. They also got 12 points and 12 rebounds from Willie Cauley-Stein and 11 points from Marvin Bagley III.

Kemba Walker led the Hornets with 31 points, although he left in the final minute because of an abdominal injury. The Hornets also got 13 points from Nicolas Batum, 11 from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and 10 from Malik Monk.

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