In a game he likely won’t soon forget, DeMarcus Cousins led the New Orleans Pelicans on a second-half rampage to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 95-82 on Tuesday at New Orleans’s Smoothie King Center.
Cousins dropped 41 points and a whopping 17 rebounds on the visiting Grizzlies, his best performance as a Pelican to date.
Through the first two quarters, neither team was able to find much success. The Pelicans posted just 34 points at the break on 28.6 percent shooting, but the Grizzlies didn’t do much better. At one point, the Grizz held as much as a 12-point lead, but through scrappy defense and a little help at the charity stripe, the Pelicans whittled the deficit to seven by halftime.
Then came the second half and with it came the DeMarcus Cousins show.
Following a Mike Conley three-pointer that extended the Grizzlies’ lead to ten, Cousins led the Pelicans on a 21-point run to put the game away.
For his first few appearances as a Pelican, Cousins couldn’t seem to find his footing. The “Brow and Boogie” combination that so many had thought would be lethal seemed flat. That, however, was before Tuesday when he finally had the game that New Orleans has been looking for.
“It feels good to finally tear down that wall, break out of the shell,” Cousins said. “They’ve been telling me since I’ve been here to just go out and be aggressive and just be myself, and I think I was able to do that tonight.”
But that “Brow and Boogie” combo is also a duo and Anthony Davis did his part with 19 points and 13 rebounds. That may not seem like a huge performance on the stat sheet, but in terms of the unselfishness his team will need to keep winning, it spoke volumes.
“When he’s going like that, I just get out of the way,” Davis said. “He was in a groove, so we were going to find a way to get him the ball and let him go to work.”
Indeed Cousins did, so much so that the crowd eventually started chanting “Boogie,” and Cousins was quick to note that appreciation after the win.
“It felt good to be embraced,” he said. “It felt very good.”
Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with 16 points, while JaMychal Green and Troy Daniels posted 12 apiece. Marc Gasol, meanwhile, had 10 points and a lot of rightful complaints after Memphis’s second-half collapse.
“Everything we built over the last four games, we threw away,” Gasol said. “I can’t find the reason why, but the consistency we built was really fragile tonight.”
The loss snaps what was a four-game win streak for the Grizz, and they’ll look to rebound on Thursday as they travel to San Antonio.
The Pelicans, meanwhile, now sit just three-and-a-half games back in the race for the Western Conference playoff spot. They’ll look to continue the success on Friday in Houston, where they will face James Harden and the Rockets.