For the second time in three nights, the Detroit Pistons (7-20) were held under 80 points on their home floor in a losing effort.
Led by 15 points each from Jamal Crawford and Blake Griffin, the Los Angeles Clippers (18-6) handed the Pistons their fifth straight loss, beating Detroit 88-76. The Clippers earned their 10th consecutive win despite only shooting 44.9% from the floor. They held the home team Pistons to just 40.8% shooting and forced 15 turnovers.
“We really gutted it out,” said Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro. “It was a total team effort and that’s what it takes.”
Brandon Knight had 16 points and Tayshaun Prince added 15 for Detroit, who had narrowed the Clipper lead to 77-71 with just under 5 minutes to play. A layup by Crawford and a crowd-rousing slam from Blake Griffin on back-to-back possessions proved to be too much for the Pistons.
“We’ve played in good spurts, and that’s been our trend,” said Prince, who missed back to back three point attempts that would have cut the Clipper lead to four points with one minute left. “But you have to be consistent against teams like that.”
By the last thirty seconds, the game had become a dunking exhibition. Matt Barnes assisted on an alley-oop pass off the backboard to Griffin, then Griffin threw down another open dunk on the next possession.
“When you’re going against a team that steals, strips, and is more aggressive, everything has to be sharper,” said Pistons coach Lawrence Frank. “We just have to be more precise and do a better job.”
Rodney Stuckey (back spasms) did not play for Detroit. The Pistons 7-20 record is the same as their record after 27 games last season. Los Angeles completed the franchise’s first ever sweep of a four-game road trip.
The Pistons head to Toronto on Wednesday, then host Washington on Friday. The Clippers return home against New Orleans on Wednesday and host Sacramento on Friday.