Pistons’ Blake Griffin torches Clippers for 44 points in return to Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES — Blake Griffin performed like a man that desperately wanted this Saturday afternoon game.

But it was a rookie with the decisive play to deliver a needed victory for Griffin and the Detroit Pistons.

Griffin scored 44 points to lead the Pistons to a 109-104 victory against the Los Angeles Clippers, his first game at Staples Center against the franchise that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2009.

Griffin was magnificent, shooting 13-for-23 from the field and adding eight rebounds and five assists in an emotional performance that snapped a four-game losing skid.

But with 21.2 seconds left and the Pistons clinging to a three-point lead, it was rookie Bruce Brown who came up with the key defensive stop.

Defending Clippers go-to scorer Lou Williams, Brown came up with a steal.

He was fouled and made the free throws to account for the final score.

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