LOS ANGELES, United States- Lou Williams scored a team-high 26 points as the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Detroit Pistons 108-95, spoiling Blake Griffin’s bid to beat his old team on Friday night.
Montrezl Harrell came off the bench to score 18 points and DeAndre Jordan added 17 rebounds as the visiting Clippers snapped the Pistons’ five-game winning streak.
“With the style Doc (coach Rivers) has put into place, we got some pretty solid pieces and we have shown that in the last few games. So far so good,” said Williams.
One longtime piece was missing for the Clippers, but it didn’t matter. They dealt Griffin to Detroit last month and Friday was his first opportunity to get even, but instead it turned into his first loss.
Griffin had re-signed with the Clippers in July with the understanding that he’d be a ‘Clipper for life.’ His tenure with the Clippers after inking a $171 million contract lasted just over half a season.
Griffin, who said he found out about the trade on Twitter, struggled from the floor against his former teammates, making just seven of 19 shots and finishing with 19 points in front of a crowd of 16,700 at Little Caesars Arena.
During his time with the Clippers, Griffin was sometimes criticised for being too soft so on Friday he tried to establish a physical presence early, receiving a technical foul in the first quarter.
“I have seen him compete night in and night out. This is a game he wanted, so the magnifying glass is on him,” said Williams, who was playing his first game since signing a three-year, 24 million contract extension.
In fairness to Griffin, the whole Pistons team was out of sync with the game on the line. Detroit scored just 15 points in the final quarter after leading by three, 80-77, after three quarters.
Tobias Harris scored 12 points and Avery Bradley had 10. They were the key players the Clippers acquired in last week’s deal that sent Griffin to Detroit. They both received loud cheers when the starting lineups were announced.