The New Orleans Pelicans upended the Houston Rockets Friday night 115-113. It was a huge win and confidence booster for the Pelicans. Anthony Davis had 27 points and 11 assists for the Pelicans while Chris Paul had 38 points and eight assists for the Rockets. The game was costly for Pelicans, however. Center DeMarcus Cousins was lost for the season with and achilles heel injury:
An MRI late Friday night confirmed an initial diagnosis of a full tear of the tendon, league sources told ESPN.
“We were starting to play damn good basketball,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry told ESPN in a text message. “DeMarcus has been great.”
Cousins suffered a noncontact injury after he hustled for a rebound with 12 seconds left in the game. He tried to poke the ball away from the Rockets’ Trevor Ariza, hopped on one leg and then collapsed to the floor. When he had to helped off the floor by teammates the injury began to take an ominous tone.
“I feel horrible for him,” Gentry said after the game. “Everything that he’s done, and what he’s tried to do for us this year and what he’s made himself and the improvements in all areas that he’s made on and off the court, has just been great. I don’t want that to happen to a guy that’s trying to better himself.”
Cousins had 15 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists – his second triple-double in the last three games. For the season Cousins was averaging 25.2 point, 12.9 assists and 5.4 rebounds. Cousins had begun to deliver on the high expectations experts had for him after he left Kentucky in 2010. He spent seven seasons for he Sacramento Kings – the NBA’s version of Siberia – where he toiled in relative obscurity. The media also rode him for not being a winner and for not turning around the moribund franchise.
Cousins was traded to Pelicans last season and New Orleans salivated with the potential havoc he and Anthony Davis could wreak. They began to deliver on that promise recently after winning and six of their last seven games and landing the Pelicans in sixth place of the Western Conference. Cousins and the Pelicans’ season will both likely end early now.