By Adrian Stewart Co
Blake Griffin had his best game of the season as the Detroit Pistons pulled off a 107-92 upset over Los Angeles Lakers in the 2020-2021 NBA Season on Thursday night (Friday in the Philippines) at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan.
Griffin tallied 23 points, including five three-point conversions, as he also jumpstarted the Pistons’ 16-0 scoring blast in the fourth quarter that turned a slim 88-87 edge to a 104-87 advantage.
Wayne Ellington also had a solid showing with 20 points, Mason Plumlee had double-double 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Jerami Grant and Derrick Rose had 14 each for the Pistons, which have won two of its last three games to improve to 5-14.
LeBron James had 22 points and 10 assists, but only two of those points came after halftime as the defending champions Lakers suffered its second consecutive defeat, a first since the regular season last year.
Kyle Kuzma also had 22 points to go along with 10 rebounds, while Talen Horton-Tucker and Dennis Schroder had 13 and 10 for the 14-6 Lakers, which played without Anthony Davis due to a right quad contusion.
Meanwhile, Houston Rockets clawed back from 20 points down in the opening quarter as they defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, 104-101, at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Victor Oladipo scored 25 points, Christian Wood finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds in his return after missing three games with a sprained right ankle, while John Wall had 20 as the Rockets moved up to 8-9. Portland slipped to 9-8.
Los Angeles Clippers, on the other hand, cruised to a 109-105 victory against an also short-handed Miami Heat over at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.
Nicolas Batum scored 18 points, while Lou Williams added 17 points for the 14-5 Clippers, who were again without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George because of the league’s virus protocols and Patrick Beverley with right knee soreness.
DETROIT 107 – Griffin 23, Ellington 20, Plumlee 17, Grant 14, Rose 14, Stewart 8, Wright 6, J. Jackson 3, Doumbouya 2, F. Jackson 0, Mykhailiuk 0, Sirvydis 0.
LOS ANGELES 92 – James 22, Kuzma 22, Horton-Tucker 13, Schroder 10, Harrell 8, Caldwell-Pope 6, Caruso 6, Matthews 3, Cacok 2, Gasol 0, Morris 0, Cook 0, McKinnie 0.
Quarterscores: 34-31, 56-58, 82-78, 107-92./ASC, WDJ