LOS ANGELES — Detroit Pistons ahead Blake Griffin made his first look at Staples Center as an opponent Wednesday night time after enjoying practically eight seasons as a member of the LA Clippers.
Griffin’s return was dampened by the Pistons’ 113-100 defeat to the Lakers, Detroit’s eighth loss in 10 video games. After the sport, Griffin downplayed the significance of his homecoming to Los Angeles.
“I’ve performed right here as a customer to the Lakers a number of occasions, so I did not really feel a lot completely different apart from being on this locker room,” Griffin mentioned.
Saturday afternoon’s matchup towards the Clippers is for certain to provide extra symbolism and drama for Griffin, who was drafted first general in 2009 by the Clippers. After lacking the whole lot of his first season to harm, he stormed onto the scene in 2010, successful Rookie of the Yr in a unanimous vote and was chosen to the All-Star Sport 5 occasions as a Clipper.
In Wednesday night time’s loss, Griffin’s January streak of consecutive 20-point video games ended at 4. He completed with 16 factors (6-for-14 from the sector, together with 2-for-Eight from Three-point vary), together with six assists, however failed to gather a rebound for the primary time in his 9 NBA seasons.
“It is at all times robust enjoying Blake Griffin, particularly for me,” Lakers ahead Kyle Kuzma mentioned. “He’s lots stronger than me. Credit score lots of my teammates for serving to me out lots defensively. We adopted our recreation plan and held him to perhaps, I feel he had 16. That’s approach lower than his common.”
Detroit merely could not overcome its poor taking pictures via a lot of the sport, taking pictures solely 37.5 p.c from the sector within the first half.
“We did not actually get to, or do something we wished to,” Griffin mentioned. “You by no means need to are available and have a efficiency like that, particularly once you want wins.”
Detroit entered the sport because the league’s 13th ranked protection, however the Pistons had been bludgeoned by the Lakers, who compiled a wholesome efficient subject purpose proportion of 61. Kuzma, Griffin’s major project, scored a game-high 41 factors.
“All of the issues they’re good at, we did not take it away,” Griffin mentioned. “I feel it was our power.”
Throughout his practically eight seasons as a member of the Clippers, Griffin had by no means set foot into the guests locker room at Staples Center.
“This was my first time,” Griffin mentioned prior to the sport of the notoriously cramped lodging for the away group. “It is terrible.”