Pistons’ Griffin returns to Los Angeles Jan. 12

Blake Griffin exploded for 50 points as the Pistons edged the Sixers in an OT thriller.

Blake Griffin will return to play at the Los Angeles Clippers as a member of the Detroit Pistons on January 12th.

The Clippers traded Griffin to the Pistons at the February trade deadline, just six months after the franchise re-signed the high-flyer to a five-year, $171 million deal in free agency.

During their July free-agent meeting, the Clippers sold Griffin on the “Clipper for life” theme and a No. 32 jersey retired in the rafters at Staples Center. Griffin didn’t take any meetings with other teams because he wanted to remain in Los Angeles and finish what he started.

The Clippers reportedly decided it was best from a financial standpoint to move Griffin to acquire future salary-cap space.

In 25 games with the Pistons, Griffin averaged 19.8 points and 6.6 rebounds, shooting 43.3 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from three. In March, Griffin said playing for the Pistons made him realize what a franchise looks like.

“If I wasn’t happy with where I was at or excited to be here, it would take a little bit longer,” Griffin told ESPN’s The Undefeated. “But as soon as I got here to Detroit, the franchise, the way they go about taking care of the players, the way they do everything, is first-class. So, that makes the transition much easier. I’m not looking back. I haven’t put much thought into it. I’ve been so focused on making this transition. I never want to be in a place where I’m not wanted. Coming here made me realize what a franchise looks like.”