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Clippers get back on track with rout of Pistons

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LOS ANGELES — After dropping their previous two games on the road to the Washington Wizards and Milwaukee Bucks, the Los Angeles Clippers welcomed a home matchup with the Detroit Pistons.

Forward Blake Griffin scored 18 points, and center DeAndre Jordan added 16 points and 15 rebounds, and the Clippers hammered the Pistons 113-91 Monday night at Staples Center.

“After losing two games in a row, it feels like we lost 10 in a row,” said Jordan, who hit seven of nine shots, most of them rim-rattling dunks. Eight of Jordan’s rebounds came on the offensive end. “Coming back home and being able to win a basketball game and close a team out is always a really good feeling.”

Defense, particularly in the second and third quarters, helped the Clippers close the door on the Pistons, who lost their eighth straight and their 10th in the past 11 meetings with Los Angeles.

“We just started getting stops,” said Clippers guard J.J. Redick, who finished with 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting in only 19 minutes. “Our defense was great in that second quarter. Our bench gave us a great lift in the first half, got us back in the game, and then took the lead, so a big credit to them.

“In the third quarter, we just got stops. They were stuck on 53 for a while, it seemed like, and we were just able to get some stops.”

Los Angeles outscored Detroit 57-36 in the middle two quarters combined.

Clippers reserve guard Jordan Farmar finished with 15 points and five assists, and point guard Chris Paul finished with 11 points and eight assists. Los Angeles (17-7) had six players score in double figures.

The Pistons (5-20) had their two-game winning streak end.

Reserve guard Jodie Meeks scored 20 points to lead Detroit. Center Andre Drummond finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Center Greg Monroe came off the bench to score 15 points and pull down eight rebounds, but he committed five turnovers in 20 minutes.

“We quit getting stops, so we could not run,” Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy said. “I thought the pace was fine, but we just did not get any stops after (the first quarter). They shot the ball very well, moved the ball very well, and we could not keep up. They shot the three well. They totally tore out defense apart.”

Griffin, who also had seven rebounds and seven assists in three quarters, passed Danny Manning for fifth on the franchise’s all-time scoring list with a 3-pointer with 27.8 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Griffin has 7,122 career points.

“That says a lot,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “It says that Blake is a great player, number one. It’s amazing he’s fifth at 25. And he missed one year. When you think about that, that’s remarkable.”

After trailing by nine in the first quarter, the Clippers seized control in the second period. Jordan scored 10 of his 13 first-half points in the quarter, helping Los Angeles grab a 55-44 lead at the half.

A four-point play by forward Matt Barnes, plus a jumper and then a 3-pointer both by Paul triggered a 13-0 run for a 79-53 cushion with about three minutes remaining in the third quarter. Detroit never cut the margin below double digits the rest of the way.

“You have to give them credit, they played well,” said Meeks, who hit five of 10 shots, including three of five from 3-point range.

The Clippers connected on 53.8 percent (43 of 80) of their shots from the floor compared to 42.2 percent (35 of 83) for the Pistons. Los Angeles converted 12 of 24 3-point attempts, while Detroit hit just eight of 27 (29.6 percent).

NOTES: Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said he would continue to bring former starter F/C Greg Monroe off the bench. Van Gundy believes pairing the 6-11 Monroe, who has been the subject of trade rumors, with 6-9 F Josh Smith and 6-11 C Andre Drummond on the front line makes his team vulnerable to clubs playing an up-tempo pace. “We were having trouble with that bigger lineup getting back in transition against people,” Van Gundy said. “That’s the main reason when we haven’t started that lineup. We started them against Phoenix (on Friday) and they were just running up and down the floor.” … Former Lakers G Jodie Meeks played his first game at Staples Center since signing with Detroit as a free agent during the offseason. … Clippers F/C Spencer Hawes missed the contest due to a left knee bruise.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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