Blake Griffin leads Detroit Pistons to 107-92 upset victory over Los Angeles Lakers

Detroit Free Press

Omari Sankofa II
 
| Detroit Free Press

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Thanks to a strong performance by Blake Griffin, the Detroit Pistons picked up their best win of the season on Thursday. 

The Pistons defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 107-92. Griffin tallied 23 points, six assists and two rebounds and had perhaps his best game of the season. Wayne Ellington continued his hot streak, with 20 points on six 3-pointers, and Mason Plumlee had 17 points and 10 rebounds. 

LeBron James and Kyle Kuzma each scored 22 points for the Lakers, who were without Anthony Davis for the second of L.A.’s back-to-back games.

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Wayne Ellington’s elite shooting streak continues

Ellington entered Thursday with a franchise-record six-game streak of games with at least four 3-pointers. He extended it against the Lakers. 

He hit six of his nine 3-point attempts. His seventh game puts him in an elite club; only seven players in NBA history — Steph Curry, Eric Gordon, James Harden, Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Duncan Robinson and John Starks — have had streaks that long with at least four 3s. 

He might be the most fun player on the roster to watch. Teams are clearly aware of his streak, and he saw closeouts from two Lakers defenders at times. He’s pulling up in transition, dancing around screens and using his gravity to create looks for his teammates. In short, he has emerged as Detroit’s most consistent scorer after Jerami Grant. 

Griffin bounces back 

It looked as though Griffin had been waiting to play the Lakers. He was energetic during pregame warmups, had a recurring smile throughout the night and put together his best game of the season. He came out firing, hitting a turnaround jumper and 3-pointer in the opening minutes of the game. He finished the first quarter with nine points on six attempts and kept shooting. 

More than at any other point this season, Griffin looked like himself. He was aggressive in the post, accurate from outside and kept his teammates engaged. He and Ellington kept the Pistons afloat. It’s a good sign, as a healthy Griffin would raise the ceiling for this team; it showed in a win despite an off night from Grant. 

Turnovers back under control?

The Pistons were on a bad streak of high-turnover games entering Thursday. They had committed 76 in their previous four games combined, including 22 the previous night against the Cleveland Cavaliers

They finished Thursday’s win awith just eight turnovers, including only one during the first half. It was one of the key stats of the night. The Cavs scored 30 points off of Detroit’s turnovers. The Lakers? Just five. 

Contact Omari Sankofa II at osankofa@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @omarisankofa.Read more on the Detroit Pistons and sign up for our Pistons newsletter.

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