Los Angeles Clippers vs Detroit Pistons: Lineups, preview & prediction 2/9/18
It will be a reunion Friday night when Blake Griffin welcomes his former team to Little Caesars Arena as the Detroit Pistons host the Los Angeles Clippers.
The teams opened the NBA trading flurry on January 29th with a surprise blockbuster as the Clippers sent Blake Griffin to the Pistons in exchange for guard Avery Bradley, forward Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and what will likely be a first-round pick in 2018.
The Pistons (27-26) have had a positive bounce since the deal winning a season high-tying five straight without a loss on the heels of a season-worst eight-game losing streak. They have averaged 113.2 points while shooting 49.9 percent in those games, with Griffin averaging 21.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists in the four he has played following the deal.
The five-time All-Star, though, noted the friendships will take a back seat to getting a win against his former teammates when tip-off comes.
“I know those guys really well so I can’t say it’s just another game,” Griffin told the Detroit Free Press after the Pistons recorded a 105-96 win over Brooklyn on Wednesday night. “It’s a game where I really know that team, but we’re trying to get wins, they’re trying to get wins. I’m not the guy to be all buddy-buddy during games. It’s going to be a war.”
The Clippers (27-25) won the last two games of a three-game home stand following the deal after Harris and Bradley sat out the loss to Portland as they posted victories over Chicago and Dallas before flying east.
Danilo Gallinari scored seven of his season-high 28 points in a game-closing 14-0 run over the final 4:23 as Los Angeles rallied to a 104-101 win over the Mavericks on Tuesday night.
Harris added 19 points for the Clippers, who have won four of their last five overall. He has totaled 43 points in his first two games, playing small forward as the 6′ 10″ Gallinari has become a stretch four in his return after missing 25 games due to a glute injury.