AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — There’s something about the Detroit Pistons that seems to bring out DeAndre Jordan’s best dunks.
Jordan had 16 points and 21 rebounds — dunking seven times with a layup — and the Los Angeles Clippers breezed to a 112-103 victory over the Pistons on Monday. Jordan threw down a memorable dunk on Detroit’s Brandon Knight last March. Knight is no longer on the Pistons, but Jordan put on another highlight show in this meeting against Detroit big men Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe.
“We knew we had to bring it,” Jordan said.
Detroit’s Josh Smith had his own explanation.
“We didn’t put up a resistance,” Smith said. “They had transition 3s, open looks at 3s and they were getting layups in transition and throwing lobs and we just let them have everything. I don’t know what happened.”
Jordan made his first seven shots. Blake Griffin added 25 points and Jamal Crawford scored 26 for the Clippers, who are now 6-2 since losing star point guard Chris Paul to a shoulder injury.
J.J. Redick added 20 points for Los Angeles, including two four-point plays when the Pistons fouled him beyond the arc.
Rodney Stuckey scored 29 points for Detroit and Smith added 24, but the Pistons got almost nothing from their starting backcourt. Brandon Jennings went scoreless and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored only six points.
Jordan dunked four times in the first quarter alone. The Clippers led 64-53 at halftime after shooting 66 percent from the field.
“They’ve got to be able to step up with J.J., Jamal, Matt (Barnes), guys like that,” Jordan said. “So I was open a lot at the rim early.”
Jordan has six double-doubles in the last seven games, and his most impressive dunk of the day was probably a one-handed alley-oop from Redick in the third quarter. Jordan’s eyes were around rim level on that one, which gave Los Angeles an 82-67 lead.
“That’s the way they play. They pound the ball inside, and they are always looking for the lob,” Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks said. “They don’t usually get as many of them as they did tonight, but that’s what they do.”
Redick bounced back after a 4-for-17 showing against Indiana on Saturday. His first four-point play put the Clippers up 38-33 in the second quarter. His second came in the third, after the Pistons had cut the lead to six and looked ready for a potential run.
“That’s my job — to knock down some shots,” Redick said. “I think we played really well in that second quarter, and then in that third quarter we had another good stretch.”
The last player with two four-point plays in one game was Crawford, who did it for Golden State against Denver on March 28, 2009, according to STATS.
“I figured he’d probably done it before,” Redick said. “He’s the master.”
Once the Clippers pulled away, about the only fun moment for most of the crowd came when a fan seated courtside was drenched by a drink after the ball went sailing out of bounds right at him. He seemed to take the mishap in good spirits, and the game was delayed briefly while the floor in front of him was cleaned.
Detroit trailed by as many as 20 points in the fourth. The Pistons cut the deficit to nine late in the game, but Jordan punctuated a terrific day with yet another alley-oop dunk.
“It was a good performance. It wasn’t a great performance,” Griffin said. “I thought we relaxed too much at certain times. In the fourth quarter, we should have done a better job.”
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