Pelicans Top Rockets But Lose Boogie Cousins For The Season
The New Orleans Pelicans appeared to be finding their groove, extending their season-long winning streak to 5 in Friday's 115-113 win over the Rockets.
Under normal circumstances, the win would represent how far the team has progressed from last year's trade for DeMarcus "Boogie" Cousins. Instead, it feels like cruel and unusual punishment.
With 8.1 seconds left in the game, Cousins attempted a free throw after he extended the Pelicans lead to 4 with a put back "and 1" under the goal. After the miss, he hustled to grab the rebound, but fell to the floor, unable to get up.
Cousins injured his Achilles on the play, and had to be helped off the court. MRI results won't be known until tomorrow, but multiple reports are the initial diagnosis is a torn left Achilles' tendon, ending his season.
"We were just getting it and just figuring it out," said a grave Anthony Davis in postgame. "That's the tough part. Like I said, we just have to keep going."
If it was Cousins final game of the season, or even his final game as a Pelican, he went out with a triple-double of 15 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.
"Obviously, he's extremely important to us," head coach Alvin Gentry noted. "Yeah, we're scared about it. I feel horrible for him. 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."
Cousins is in a contract year, spoke candidly about his desire to experience the playoffs for the first time, and was set to start (for the first time) in next month's NBA All-Star game.