NEW ORLEANS (AP) – DeMarcus Cousins employed a hesitation dribble between his legs as he approached center Kenneth Faried in the lane. The Pelicans big man then spun between Faried and converging Denver forward Wilson Chandler and was fouled as he converted a leaning scoop off the glass.
It was perhaps the best of many highlights for Cousins, who had 40 points, 22 rebounds and four blocks to help New Orleans down Denver 123-114 on Wednesday night.
“Just trying to make a play, doing whatever it takes to help the team win a game. Tonight was my night,” Cousins said. “You kind of get locked in and you know when you’re rolling, of course, but it’s still all about making the right play because eventually they adjust.”
Jrue Holiday scored 27 points and E’Twaun Moore had 14 for New Orleans, which shot 53.5 percent (46 of 86) and won for the second time in three games without All-Star forward Anthony Davis.
Gary Harris scored 24 for the short-handed Nuggets, who remained without recently injured frontcourt stalwarts Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap.
“They’re not as deep as they usually are at the big spot and they were a bit under-sized,” Cousins said in explaining why he was aggressive from the outset.
The Pelicans liked what they saw and let Cousins dictate the offense.
“It’s hard to stop him. Just give him the ball, really,” Holiday said. “He should have had 50. He missed a couple free throws.”
Cousins missed seven, in fact, but it hardly mattered.
Emmanuel Mudiay scored 17 points, while Will Barton and Jamal Murray each scored 15 for the Nuggets, who were as close as 97-94 after Malik Beasley’s 3 with 11:25 to go, only to fade down the stretch.
The Pelicans broke the game open in the fourth quarter with a decisive 20-3 run during which Cousins …read more
Source:: CBS Denver – Sports