It was the return of the king Thursday night as Pelicans forward DeMarcus Cousins was in Sacramento for his first game there against the team he played for during his first 6 1/2 seasons in the NBA.
The former Kentucky star had 41 points, 23 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal and 1 block in a monster performance that lifted his Pelicans to a 114-106 win.
“Boogie” went 14 of 25 shooting and showed off his range by going 3 of 5 from 3-point territory, including this key triple late in the game that gave the Pelicans the lead for good.
Pelicans defeat Kings 114-106
(NOP: Cousins 41 Pts 23 Reb, Holiday 20 Pts)
(SAC: Fox 14 Pts, Randolph 13 Pts 9 Reb)pic.twitter.com/h2L2AWzcjs
— TheLead SportsMedia (@NBALEAD) October 27, 2017
Cousins, who received an ovation from those in attendance at the Golden 1 Center before the game, was respectful in an interview after the game.
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) October 27, 2017
“It was beautiful, man. A lot of the people that know me know that I was nervous as hell,” Cousins said. “I’m thankful to have the years I had in this city. The city and the fans were great to me, I enjoyed my time here. At the end of the day, it’s nothing but love.”
Cousins was acquired in February not long after the Pelicans made their only visit to play the Kings last season. He’s now playing alongside another former Wildcat great, Anthony Davis, who didn’t play in the game Thursday, as well as other former UK players Rajon Rondo and Darius Miller.
For Cousins, it was his first career game recording at least 40 points and 20 rebounds. It was the first such performance in the NBA this season, and Cousins is one of only three players over the last 6 seasons to meet those thresholds. The other two players are also former Wildcats (Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns).
Here’s a cool look at Cousins’ night, starting with the crowd’s reaction during pregame introductions and his highlights during the game.
DeMarcus Cousins EPIC Highlights vs Kings (2017.10.26) – 41 Pts, 23 Reb, RETURN to SACRAMENTO!https://t.co/4BaE6jmcgB
— #NBA247 (@NBATwoFourSeven) October 27, 2017