);
Detroit Pistons

Blake Griffin torches the Clippers in his long-awaited return to Los Angeles

Blake Griffin didn't disappoint in his return to Los Angeles.

In his first game back since he was traded to Detroit, Griffin carried the Pistons to a 109-104 victory over his former team with 44 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. 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.

Griffin got the game off to a strong start with 15 points in the first quarter. He did more of the same in the second quarter (11 points) to give the Pistons a 65-54 lead at the half.

The Pistons held onto their double-digit lead heading into the fourth quarter, only to see LA's bench come alive down the stretch, led by their one-two punch of Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell.

The Clippers tied the game up at 97 on a 3-pointer from Williams. Griffin then assisted on eight consecutive points for the Pistons before draining a hook shot that put them ahead 107-99.

The Clippers went on a run themselves but ultimately came up short - a steal from Bruce Brown with 21.2 second remaining followed by a pair of free throws sealed the deal for the Pistons.

Danilo Gallinari scored a team-high 23 points for the Clippers. Williams and Harrell, meanwhile, combined for 43 points off the bench.

Andre Drummond was Detroit's second-leading scorer with 20 points. He also had 21 rebounds, nine of which came on the offensive end.

The Pistons and Clippers will meet again on Feb. 2 in Detroit.

More from NBA.com

Bradley Beal and Trae Young (wearing #8 for Kobe) as the Wizards hold the ball for a 24-second violation at the beginning of the game.
NBA teams pays tribute to Kobe Bryant
Yash Matange
#Zion
Zion records first career win, Pels edge Celtics
Benyam Kidane
Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan in 1998
Jordan on Kobe: "like a little brother to me."
Micah Adams
george-kawhi-lebron-davis
Tracking the Clippers and Lakers Grammy Trips
Gilbert McGregor
DeMar DeRozan and Kobe Bryant played against each other 10 times in the NBA.
DeRozan: "I wouldn't be here" without Kobe
NBA.com Staff
Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash
NBA.com Staff
More News