Blake Griffin got his return to Staples Center out of the way when the Detroit Pistons visited the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, but Saturday's trip is going to bring another emotional dimension. Griffin will face his former team for the first time on his former home floor when the Pistons visit the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.
Griffin was drafted No. 1 overall by the Clippers in 2009 and served as the team's franchise player from the time he made his debut in 2010 until he was traded to Detroit last season and is filling the same role with his new team, though the results aren't showing in the win column. The Pistons dropped their last four games and 16 of the last 20, including a 112-102 setback at Sacramento on Thursday with Griffin sitting out to rest. Los Angeles had a three-game winning streak come to an end with a 121-100 setback at Denver on Thursday but is not discouraged. "I love where we're at," Clippers coach Doc Rivers told reporters. "We've had a couple games we haven't played great, tonight was one of them. But overall, most nights we outwork the opponent. Some nights, the shots still don't go in or we don't get stops. I think a lot of our losses are little things defensively. A few nights offensively, but overall I'll take our effort in the 41 games overall."
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, FS Detroit, FS Prime Ticket LINE: Clippers -7
ABOUT THE PISTONS (17-23): Detroit can point to some of its issues but can't seem to fix them, and turnovers are a big problem. "Turnovers ignited that," Pistons Dwane Casey told reporters of a first quarter on Thursday that allowed Sacramento to jump out to a quick lead. "That's the main emphasis on every board we had this morning, every meeting we had. We can't turn the ball over and, lo and behold, a lot of 'em were just ill-advised." Detroit allowed 34 points off 20 turnovers on Thursday, with center Andre Drummond committing seven.
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (24-17): Los Angeles allowed the Western Conference-best Nuggets to shoot 50.5 percent from the floor and were outscored 66-50 in the paint on Thursday. "I don't think we should be disappointed about anything," center Marcin Gortat told reporters. "I still think there's room to improve, there's a lot of room to improve. Nobody anticipated that we were going to be in the position we are right now, so we should be happy but at the same time not satisfied." The starting backcourt combination of Avery Bradley and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander combined to go 2-of-10 from the floor in the loss while totaling five points.
1. Pistons C Zaza Pachulia (leg) missed the last six games and is questionable for Saturday.
2. Bradley is averaging 5.4 points on 30.6 percent shooting in five games this month.
3. Los Angeles earned a 108-95 win at Detroit on Feb. 9 - Griffin's first game against his former team.
PREDICTION: Clippers 120, Clippers 105 Bet Now
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