Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Griffin scores 44 points in emotional LA return

Blake Griffin leaves Clippers owner Steve Ballmer hanging before game Blake Griffin leaves Clippers owner Steve Ballmer hanging before game
Kristopher Love | 14 January, 2019, 12:28

It's pretty clear that there are still some hard feelings from Blake Griffin toward the Los Angeles Clippers.

Blake Griffin took on the Los Angeles Clippers on the road Saturday for the first time since the team traded him to the Detroit Pistons about a year ago. Griffin later said the trade "stunned" him, and at his introductory press conference in Detroit said, "I want to play for an organization that wants me to play there and clearly this was an organization that wanted me to play here".

The 29-year-old forward is averaging a career-high 25.1 points and 8.3 rebounds. 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.

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.

Danilo Gallinari led Los Angeles with 23 points, while Lou Williams scored 22 and Montrezl Harrell 21, both coming off the bench. Williams tied the score 97-97 with a 3-pointer with 4:45 left.

Detroit centre Andre Drummond added 20 points and 21 rebounds, including nine on the offensive end.

Blake had other ideas as he took off towards the locker room instead.

Griffin got the game off to a strong start with 15 points in the first quarter.

After the Pistons beat the Clippers 109-104 behind 44 points from Griffin, the forward explained his action was not intentional.