DeMarcus Cousins powers New Orleans Pelicans to victory over Denver Nuggets

Lester Mason
December 7, 2017

In many ways, Wednesday night at the Smoothie King Center felt a lot like the last time the Nuggets visited.

The big man poured in 40 points, grabbed 22 rebounds, dished four assists and blocks four shots, thoroughly controlling the second half and turning a back-and-forth affair into a walkaway win. Production came from everywhere. This time, the Nuggets didn't fare as well. It's also allowed coach Gentry to be conservative with starter Rajon Rondo's minutes as he recovers from a core muscle injury that sidelined Rondo for the first 13 games of the season.

"In the first half we kind of got sucked into playing their style of play, just trying to outscore one another", Cousins said. He stepped out to drill two 3-pointers in the third quarter. "When he's cleared to travel we want him traveling with us as much as possible because I think it's going to be healthy for him and beneficial for us as well".

Although, the Nuggets' offensive production did hit a speed bump in the third quarter.

"He's very capable of that", New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said. The slow fade continued into the fourth quarter, where the deficit did get huge - 20 points. Again, while the individual play of Cousins, Holiday and Moore were big reasons as to why New Orleans came away with the victory, frankly, the way the offense ran tonight is the biggest reason for the teams 'W'.

Injury Report: Denver will be without Nikola Jokic, who is out with an ankle injury.

DeMarcus Cousins bounced back from the November 17 matchup, where the Nuggets held him to 14 points on 6-of-16 shooting. He finished with a season-high tying 40 points and 23 rebounds, leading all players in both categories.

Holiday had 19 of his 27 points in the first half as the Pelicans took a 67-66 lead.

The Nuggets routinely doubled Cousins on the dribble but while it affected the Kentucky product in the first, Cousins dominated from there on out. Denver also got the bulk of its scoring from its backcourt, with Gary Harris finishing with 24 points and four assists, Will Barton adding 15 points and seven rebounds in his return to the starting lineup and Emmanuel Mudiay scoring 17 off the bench.

The Nuggets opened a six-game road trip with a 122-105 loss in Dallas on Monday, a result that snapped their two-game winning streak.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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