Griffin scored 50 points in the Oct. 23 contest, including the game-winning three-point play with less than two seconds left, in the Pistons’ 133-132 overtime win at Little Caesars Arena.
Less than two weeks later, the two teams will try to somehow top that thrilling performance in a Saturday matinee at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center.
The 76ers’ have been flawless at home, 5-0 (0-4 away from it), including a 122-113 win over the visiting Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.
Joel Embiid had a season-high 41 points in the win, to go along with 13 rebounds and four blocks.
“They told me it’s the first time since 2006 since Allen Iverson had 40 in the building,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said after the game. “He was just dominant, you know 32 shots. I think him trying to pull out Boban [Marjanovic] — Boban is so unique to our league, he came in and really changed the game for them. I think that Joel, the volume of points, the volume of rebounds, pulling Boban out towards the end with some threes. He was all of that, especially as the game wore down.”
Embiid had 33 points and 11 rebounds in the teams’ first meeting, but Griffin’s huge game overshadowed his performance.
“Blake had a hell of a game. He was very difficult for us, obviously, to defend,” Brown said.
When the teams last met, the Pistons were in the middle of a four-game winning streak to start the season, and that win over the Sixers may have been the high point.
They’ve lost three straight since that streak after dropping a 120-119 overtime heartbreaker to Brooklyn on Wednesday night, when Spencer Dinwiddie dropped in a game-winning 3-pointer with 7.1 seconds left.
“You live by the sword and you die by the sword. In the first few games, we were close, and we were winning them and now we’re losing them,” head coach Dwane Casey told reporters after the game Wednesday night.
“It’s on ourselves, myself — everybody in this locker room. It’s mental things, leave the strong side corner and they knock down a 3, miscommunicate on switches and they knock down a 3. This team made us pay for every mental mistake we made. They’re a good 3-point shooting team, so we shouldn’t be surprised when we don’t execute our switches properly.”
The Pistons lost on Wednesday despite holding the Nets to just 43 percent shooting and 32 percent from 3-point range. One reason why: They shot just 42 percent overall, and 32 percent from beyond the arc.
Against the 76ers in late-October, they shot 47 percent from the field and 36 percent from outside.
“It’s just more getting adjusted to a different style of play,” Pistons center Andre Drummond said after the loss to Brooklyn. “We’ve had a chance to play with each other for a little bit at the end of last season. It’s pretty early in the season, so we’re still figuring it out and finding out positions and spots where people like the ball.
“It’ll come. I’m confident and my guys are confident it’ll come. The timing thing is tough. Now it’s like we’re playing freely but now we have to know when to do certain things on the court. It’s going to take a little bit of time. We’re fine.”