Grif­fin leads Pis­tons past War­riors in Curry’s re­turn

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Sports - BY VINCE EL­LIS

The Detroit Pis­tons have had im­pres­sive wins early this sea­son. The best one came Satur­day night.

The Pis­tons led most of the way in a 111-102 vic­tory over the two-time reign­ing NBA cham­pion Golden State War­riors be­fore a sell-out crowd at Lit­tle Cae­sars Arena.

Blake Grif­fin scored 18 of his team-high 26 points in the sec­ond half as the Pis­tons (13-7) moved to 5-0 on this six-game home­s­tand.

Stan­ley John­son scored 19 points as the Pis­tons have won nine of 11 to stand fourth in the Eastern Con­fer­ence un­der first-year coach Dwane Casey.

It was War­riors guard Stephen Curry’s first game back af­ter miss­ing 11 games with a groin in­jury.

He scored 27 points, in­clud­ing 3-for-9 from 3-point range. Kevin Du­rant scored 28 points, but was 1-for-7 from 3-point range.

The Pis­tons, with one of the best 3-point de­fenses in the league, held the War­riors to 6-for-26 shoot­ing from the be­hind the arc.

Reg­gie Jack­son scored an ef­fi­cient 17 points on 6-for-12 shoot­ing.

An­dre Drum­mond fin­ished with 16 points and 19 re­bounds, but his slump at the free-throw line (2-for-8) con­tin­ued.

John­son may have been the best player on the floor in the first half in stak­ing the Pis­tons to a 54-46 lead.

John­son scored 13 points on 6-for-11 shoot­ing. He added five re­bounds and two as­sists in 13 min­utes.

He was at his best mid­way through the sec­ond quar­ter when he scored six straight.

A driv­ing layup gave the Pis­tons a 39-31 lead.

With the shot clock wind­ing down, he hit a tough turn­around jumper in Du­rant’s face to give the Pis­tons a 41-33 lead.

And his fly­ing tip-in of a missed shot gave the Pis­tons a 43-33 lead with 5:44 left in the first half.

Af­ter scor­ing 27 points on 7-for-13 shoot­ing in a re­hab as­sign­ment for the Pis­tons’ Ga­torade League af­fil­i­ate in Grand Rapids on Fri­day night, Luke Ken­nard (right shoul­der sprain) was avail­able against the War­riors.

Pis­tons coach Dwane Casey made the an­nounce­ment dur­ing pregame me­dia avail­abil­ity, although he wasn’t ac­tive.

The War­riors don’t ex­actly rep­re­sent a chance to ease a player back into ac­tion af­ter miss­ing 15 games.

“A cou­ple times it got hit and I just rolled with it and that’s what I wanted to see,” Ken­nard told the Grand Rapids Press af­ter the re­hab stint. “A lit­tle sore here and there but that’s ex­pected. It’s healed, it’s all good.”

CAR­LOS OSORIO AP

Detroit Pis­tons guard Ish Smith passes as Golden State War­riors for­ward Jor­dan Bell de­fends dur­ing the first half Satur­day in Detroit.

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