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Blake Griffin leads Pistons to win over Pelicans

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Griffin scored 37 points as the Pistons won without injured Andre Drummond

NBA: Detroit Pistons at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Reggie Bullock had a miserable night.

Until he didn’t.

The Pistons sharpshooter was anything but on Wednesday, missing 10 of his first 11 shots against the Pelicans in New Orleans. His second make of the night was his biggest. Nursing a 3-point lead late in the fourth, Frank Jackson missed a tying 3-pointer with 15 seconds left.

The Pistons couldn’t corral the rebound and the ball was batted back outside.

It was Bullock who poked it away from two Pelicans, speeding down court for the game-sealing dunk as the Pistons held on for a 98-94 win.

Blake Griffin carried the load, scoring 37 points while grabbing 9 rebounds and handing out 7 assists. The Pistons moved to 9-8 in games where Griffin scores 30 or more points, which is surprising but also not when you think of the many great wasted performances.

Griffin, uh, wasn’t too happy after the win.

I’m sure y’all can relate.

Detroit led for much of the night thanks to Griffin playing like an All-Star and a solid enough showing from 3-point land... it also helpd that Anthony Davis (finger) missed the game for New Orleans. Reggie Jackson played one of his best games in recent weeks, scoring 17 points with four makes from downtown.

The bench played well early as well. Part of that was made shots, but Dwane Casey opted to keep Griffin with that group. It worked in both the second and third quarters as the Pistons took the lead and held it.

They led by as many as 13 points in the third quarter but gave it all back early in the fourth when Griffin went to the bench. New Orleans took a rare lead on a Nikola Mirotic triple but, rather than fold, the Pistons responded.

They never trailed again.

Good Jon Leuer made a rare appearance, which proved important.

Andre Drummond missed his third-straight game as he goes through the NBA’s concussion protocol. Leuer did most of his damage early against the Pelicans’ backups but scored 11 points and grabbed 6 boards.

Zaza Pachulia was productive in place of Drummond with 8 points and 10 boards. It was another story defensively.

Jahilil Okafor, yes, that Jahlil Okafor, had his way with Pachulia down low, scoring 17 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and, somehow, blocking 6 shots. Jrue Holiday scored 25 but was held to just 4 points in the fourth quarter.

The win pushes the Pistons to within 1 12 games of Miami for the East’s final playoff spot.