Blake Griffin scores 37 points as Detroit Pistons limp home to 98-94 win in New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Blake Griffin got Detroit off to a hot start, but the Pistons still had to scratch out a 98-94 victory in the final seconds over the Anthony Davis-less Pelicans.
It didn’t sit well with the All-Star forward.
“The way we finished the game was the reason we’ve lost so many close games,” said Griffin, referring to Detroit’s 95-87 lead with 1:32 left that nearly evaporated down the stretch. “This time we just happened to come out on top. We got a lucky miss, a lucky bounce and we were able to get a wide-open dunk, but this doesn’t feel like that good of a win. Obviously, we’ll take it, but stuff like this is why we’ve lost so many games.”
Griffin scored 20 of his game-high 37 points in the fourth quarter. Reggie Jackson added 17 points for the Pistons, who had lost seven of their previous 10.
Jrue Holiday scored 29 points and Jahlil Okafor added 17 for the Pelicans, who have lost four of six and played their second straight game without Davis.
New Orleans cut the deficit to 95-92 on a drive by Holiday and a 3-poitner by Darius Miller with 52.5 seconds left.
The Pistons then had a sluggish possession, finally getting the ball in Griffin’s hands for a forced 3-point attempt. When he missed, the Pelicans had a chance to tie, but Frank Jackson’s open 3-pointer missed, and Holiday tapped the rebound out to the top of the key.
Reggie Bullock ran down the loose ball and dribbled 60 feet unguarded for a clinching dunk with 14.5 seconds left.
Griffin finished 14 of 28 from the field, including 4 of 9 on 3-pointers, and had nine rebounds and seven assists.
“He’s carrying us, handling the basketball, making good decisions, just doing everything we could ask a franchise player to do,” Detroit coach Dwane Casey said.