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Blake Griffin’s return to face Clippers at Staples Center lives up to dramatic billing – Orange County Register

Blake Griffin’s return to face Clippers at Staples Center lives up to dramatic billing – Orange County Register
  • Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons barks at refereee Curtis Blair throughout their NBA basketball recreation towards the LA Clippers at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Patrick Beverley #21 of the LA Clippers tries to steal the ball away from Jose Calderon #81 of the Detroit Pistons throughout their NBA basketball recreation at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons battles for a unfastened ball with Danilo Gallinari #eight of the LA Clippers throughout their NBA basketball recreation at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons brings the ball down courtroom throughout their NBA basketball recreation towards the LA Clippers at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Robert Iger, chairman and chief government officer of The Walt Disney Firm, watches the LA Clippers recreation towards the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Clippers Spirit performs throughout a break within the LA Clippers recreation towards the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Jerry West watches courtside in the course of the LA Clippers recreation towards the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A t-shirt cannon is fired throughout a break within the LA Clippers recreation towards the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Taylor Singleton celebrates profitable a Kia throughout a break within the LA Clippers recreation towards the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • LA Clippers assistant coach Sam Cassell provides directions from the bench throughout their NBA basketball recreation towards the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Taylor Singleton celebrates profitable a Kia throughout a break within the LA Clippers recreation towards the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Montrezl Harrell #5 of the LA Clippers dunks previous Jon Leuer #30 of the Detroit Pistons throughout their NBA basketball recreation at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Tyrone Wallace #9 of the LA Clippers defends Jose Calderon #81 of the Detroit Pistons throughout their NBA basketball recreation at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Reggie Jackson #1 of the Detroit Pistons is helped up by teammates throughout their NBA basketball recreation towards the LA Clippers at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Doc Rivers of the LA Clippers sits on the bench with assistant coaches Brendan O’Connor, left, and Rex Kalamian throughout their NBA basketball recreation towards the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the LA Clippers watches a rebound as he battles with Andre Drummond #zero of the Detroit Pistons throughout their NBA basketball recreation at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons dunks two of his game-high 44 factors towards the LA Clippers throughout their NBA basketball recreation at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Montrezl Harrell #5 of the LA Clippers is annoyed throughout their NBA basketball recreation towards the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the LA Clippers scores previous Reggie Jackson #1, left, and Bruce Brown #6, each of the Detroit Pistons throughout their NBA basketball recreation at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Lou Williams #23 of the LA Clippers turns over the ball to Bruce Brown #6 underneath strain from Andre Drummond #zero, each of the Detroit Pistons within the last seconds of their NBA basketball recreation at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons celebrates with followers after defeating the LA Clippers throughout their NBA basketball recreation at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons celebrates with followers after defeating the LA Clippers throughout their NBA basketball recreation at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Andre Drummond #zero of the Detroit Pistons dunks on Montrezl Harrell #5 of the LA Clippers throughout their NBA basketball recreation at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons grabs a rebound in entrance of Montrezl Harrell #5 of the LA Clippers throughout their NBA basketball recreation at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Montrezl Harrell #5 of the LA Clippers blocks a shot by Bruce Brown #6 of the Detroit Pistons throughout their NBA basketball recreation at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Lou Williams #23 of the LA Clippers can’t consider referee Zach Zarba, at proper, didn’t name a foul within the ultimate seconds of their 109-104 loss to the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Danilo Gallinari #eight of the LA Clippers shoots previous Reggie Jackson #1, left, and Bruce Brown #6, each of the Detroit Pistons, throughout their NBA basketball recreation at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Montrezl Harrell #5 of the LA Clippers dunks previous Reggie Jackson #1, left, and Jon Leuer #30, each of the Detroit Pistons, throughout their NBA basketball recreation at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons is fouled by Marcin Gortat #13 of the LA Clippers throughout their NBA basketball recreation at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons acknowledges the gang after a thank-you video was performed in the course of the first half of their NBA basketball recreation abasing his former staff the LA Clippers at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Doc Rivers of the LA Clippers questions a name as Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons walks previous throughout their NBA basketball recreation at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Patrick Beverley #21 of the LA Clippers disagrees with a name by referee Aaron Smith throughout their NBA basketball recreation towards the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Stanley Johnson #7 of the Detroit Pistons blocks a shot by Montrezl Harrell #5 of the LA Clippers throughout their NBA basketball recreation at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Montrezl Harrell #5 of the LA Clippers tries to cross the ball as Reggie Bullock #25 of the Detroit Pistons defends through the closing seconds of their NBA basketball recreation at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons appears for a foul name after diving for a ball throughout their NBA basketball recreation towards LA Clippers at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Blake Griffin #23 of the Detroit Pistons dunks previous Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the LA Clippers throughout their NBA basketball recreation at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The Detroit Pistons defeated the LA Clippers 109-104. (Photograph by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

LOS ANGELES — Clippers followers greeted Blake Griffin with substantial heat and quantity in his first go to again to Staples Center to face his former staff. There additionally was the anticipated thank-you tribute video through the first break within the motion, and a victory for the guests, 109-104, to boot.

Griffin, now starring for the Detroit Pistons, stated he appreciated the reception: “It’s cool man, it’s really cool. To be welcomed back like that, it means a lot.”

#WelcomeBackBlake pic.twitter.com/r05AarBl2g

— Mirjam Swanson (@MirjamSwanson) January 12, 2019

However the 29-year-old didn’t have a lot to say to Clippers officers, who shipped him to Detroit final January for Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, a 2018 first-round draft decide (which turned Shai Gilgeous-Alexander) and a second-round decide in 2019 — six months after Griffin signed a five-year, $171 million contract.

In a second harking back to the occasion when Griffin reportedly disregarded the Clippers’ longtime broadcaster Ralph Lawler quickly after the commerce final season, Griffin appeared to depart Steve Ballmer hanging courtside after he completed his pregame warmups, when he sprinted previous his former staff’s proprietor, whose hand was prolonged.

Ballmer, who purchased the Clippers for $2 billion in 2014, shrugged and walked within the different path.

After the sport – through which Griffin dropped 44 factors, eight rebounds, 5 assists, three steals and a block on the Clippers – he denied that his pregame sprint was private, insisting he was sticking to routine.

“For nine years now, as soon as I’m done doing my pregame shooting, I make sure there’s a path and I take off running to the locker room. I don’t stop running. A lot of you know that,” stated Griffin, who stopped between pregame photographs to greet numerous individuals, together with Clippers broadcast Ryan Hollins.

“A lot of you have been here for a long time and seen me do that before. I don’t change that for anybody … Plain and simple. It wasn’t anything planned.”

Blake is actually a Piston now. #DetroitVsEverybody pic.twitter.com/UiAoGi4Yow

— FOX Sports activities Detroit (@FOXSportsDet) January 12, 2019

Requested if he would shake Ballmer’s hand, Griffin responded: “I’m honestly not here to answer hypothetical questions.”

Griffin stated he was glad to have Saturday’s recreation, and all of the build-up and scrutiny that accompanied it, out of the best way.

“Next time we come here, it won’t be the same, obviously,” he stated. “It’s nice to get that game over. I kind of compare it to the first game of the year. There’s such a big hype leading up to it, and once it’s done you’ve got to play 81 more. Now we’ve got to play 41 more or whatever it is.

“It’s over, we’re moving on, they’re moving on, and we’ve got a lot of basketball left to play.”

Contemplating the way it responded Saturday, Detroit appeared OK with all the additional stuff hooked up to the inter-conference matchup.

After dropping 9 of their previous 11 video games, together with 4 consecutive, the 18-23 Pistons jumped forward 37-24 within the first quarter after which held off the Clippers with clutch performs down stretch — by Griffin and others, together with Reggie Bullock, one other former Clipper.

However nobody had the emphatic impression that Griffin did.

“I mean, he always does that, every time he plays us,” stated Montrezl Harrell, who prolonged his arm in greeting as he walked previous the sizable scrum of media surrounding Griffin after the sport. “When we played in Detroit (last season after the trade), he’s constantly looking at Doc and stuff like that — but that’s love lost there that them two gotta work out.”

The 2 haven’t spoken because the commerce, they stated Saturday.

“He’s not my coach anymore,” Griffin stated. “There’s no need to.”

“That’s happened many times in my career, so I don’t make a big deal of that,” Rivers stated. “You (media) do, however I don’t at all. I’ve had a number of guys, even some guys who I’m very shut to (however) most trades and departures don’t go very easily, for the document, they only don’t. I can cite 100 of them.

“They all come back eventually.”

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