Boogie Cousins Pelicans Debut Spoiled By Rockets
DeMarcus "Boogie" Cousins put up an impressive stat line in his New Orleans Pelicans debut, but the Rockets spoiled it by handing the Pelicans a thorough 129-99 loss.
An electric atmosphere and undeniable energy sailed through the Smoothie King Center Thursday night at tip-off. Anxious fans' excitement reached a fever pitch as Cousins knocked down his first shot as a Pelican, days after the blockbuster trade that sent him from Sacramento to New Orleans.
"It's good to get it under the belt and get it out of the way," said Cousins of his debut. "It's good to just get back to basketball."
Despite Cousins and superstar Anthony Davis' efforts, first half turnovers and superb three point shooting from Houston sucked the energy out of the building in the second half, helping the Rockets cruise to a win.
"We're disappointed, but not discouraged," said Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry after the loss. "Obviously, we've got to get those guys (Cousins & Davis) working in unison...we've got to expedite this whole situation."
Houston hit 20 three pointers. New Orleans missed 25, going 6-31 from beyond the arc.
In a losing effort, Cousins finished with 27 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals and 4 blocks.
Davis led all scorers with 29, adding 9 boards, 2 blocks and 2 steals.
The game wasn't the only thing New Orleans lost Thursday. Omri Casspi, a starting calibur small forward who was the forgotten piece of the Cousins trade, scored 12 in his New Orleans debut, going 2 of 4 from beyond the arc on a team that desperately needs 3 point shooters. He also broke his thumb and is out 4 weeks to 6 weeks.
"It's unfortunate," said Casspi after the loss. "It's bad luck."
New Orleans, 3 games back of the 8 seed in the Western Conference, have 24 games to make up the difference.
"We're still trying to find a rhythm and figure it out," explained Gentry.
The clock is ticking.