Blake Griffin Avoided Steve Ballmer’s Handshake Before Pistons-Clippers In Los Angeles

Griffin has 44 points in return against Clippers

Griffin did not even look at Ballmer before breaking into a trot and heading for the locker room.

Blake Griffin will be making his highly-anticipated return to Staples Center to take on the Clippers for the first time since being shockingly traded away nearly a year ago.

Griffin was drafted No. 1 overall by the Clippers in 2009 and spent his first eight seasons with them, helping the team reach the playoffs in six straight years from 2012-17.

Andre Drummond was Detroit's second-leading scorer with 20 points.

"There was a lot of hype coming into this game and I was looking forward to it, but I'm glad that it's over", Griffin said.

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The 29-year-old forward is averaging a career-high 25.1 points and 8.3 rebounds. Bradley finished with three points. The Pistons play the Clippers again February 2.

Bullock made two 3-pointers just over a minute apart to extend the lead to 105-99, and Griffin scored inside to make it 107-99 with 2:47 left.

Griffin was greeted with cheers during pregame introductions and received a standing ovation after a first-quarter video tribute.

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.

The L.A. Clippers and Detroit Pistons are set to play their Saturday afternoon matinee at Staples Center, but it won't be any ordinary game.

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