Cousins 'not mad at all' over benching in Pelicans' win

Cousins 'not mad at all' over benching in Pelicans' win

DeMarcus Cousins' time in New Orleans hasn't gone well.

The Pelicans are 3-6 since acquiring Cousins from the Kings, and their last win came with the All-Star center being benched with just over nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter against Charlotte on Sunday.

Cousins declined to talk to the media following the Pelicans' 125-122 overtime win, but a day later, he spoke after practice and was asked what was going through his mind.

"Was it frustrating? Not at all. The team was in a good rhythm, they were playing a good stretch of basketball, so I wasn't mad at all. Pulled out a good win. I'm not mad at all," Cousins said on Monday.

Cousins was asked to recalled if he's ever been benched that early in a game.

'First time in a long time. Maybe since my rookie season. But you know, that's how it played out. Coach [Alvin Gentry] made a decision. It is what it is. My job is just to go out there and play when my name is called upon. It wasn't, so I was a cheerleader from the bench," Cousins said.

Did Cousins and Gentry speak after the game regarding the situation?

"Nothing to talk about. It was his decision," Cousins said.

In eight games with the Pelicans, Cousins is averaging 20.8 points per game, down from the 27.8 he averaged in 55 games with the Kings this season. His rebounds per game, though, are up to 12.4 from 10.6.

New Orleans is back in action Tuesday when they host Portland.

 

Cousins benched in fourth quarter over 'coach's decision' in Pelicans win

Cousins benched in fourth quarter over 'coach's decision' in Pelicans win

BOX SCORE

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Anthony Davis didn't seem fazed that fellow All-Star DeMarcus Cousins was sitting on the bench during crunch time.

Instead, he just took over.

Davis scored 46 points and grabbed 21 rebounds Saturday night, leading the New Orleans Pelicans to a 125-122 victory in overtime against the Charlotte Hornets. He had 15 points in the fourth quarter and nine more in overtime, including a three-point play on an offensive rebound to put the Pelicans ahead for good with 1:11 left in the extra period.

The Pelicans won despite Cousins not returning to the court after picking up his fifth foul with 9 1/2 minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Cousins declined interviews after the game.

"It's Coach's decision," Davis said. "All that matters is that we won. All that other stuff, it doesn't matter. No one cares about that. We're just trying to get wins. Whatever it takes."

When asked about pairing Cousins with Davis on the floor, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said: "What we need is time to make it work."

New Orleans had hoped to make up ground in the Western Conference standings, but came in just 2-6 since acquiring Cousins in a blockbuster All-Star weekend trade with the Sacramento Kings.

Cousins seemed frustrated most of the night grappling with scrappy Hornets center Cody Zeller, who dunked over Cousins on a fastbreak after Cousins turned the ball over in the front court on a bad pass.

Cousins picked up his third foul with 4 1/2 minutes to go in the second quarter, forcing him to the bench. He got his fifth when he appeared to lose his cool early in the fourth quarter when he blatantly threw his elbow at Zeller and was called for an offensive foul.

With Cousins out, Davis went on a tear.

He made three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and finished 18 of 31 from the field, including 4 of 5 from beyond the arc.

"The movement that he had and the spacing he created I thought was the way he got most of his shots," Gentry said of Davis. "He was very good creating and going quickly and not giving them an opportunity to double him. When he does that and he gets into space and he's feeling good about his shot and what he's doing, he's very difficult to guard."

After a turnover by Charlotte's Nic Batum and a missed 3-pointer, Davis drove the lane and made a floater to put the Pelicans up by 5 with 20 seconds left in overtime. Batum scored on a layup to cut the lead to 123-120, but Holiday added two free throws and it appeared the game was over.

But after a layup by Marco Belinelli, Holiday was called for traveling in the backcourt with 1.8 seconds left giving the Hornets a chance to send the game into double overtime. However, Walker's long 3-point attempt was off the mark at the buzzer.

The Hornets had a chance to win at the end of regulation after Davis missed a baseline jumper with 8 seconds left.

TIP INS

Pelicans: Jordan Crawford had 19 points and Holiday added 15 points and 13 assists. ... Davis started despite injuring his wrist in Wednesday night's 94-87 loss to the Toronto Raptors.

Hornets: Attempted 46 3-point shots, making just 13.

ZELLER: COUSINS A TOUGH COVER

Zeller had nothing but positive things to say about Cousins after the game.

"He's such a talented player that you just try to make it tough on him, try to take away all of his easy ones, keep him off the free throw line, the offensive glass," said Zeller, who limited Cousins to 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting.

WILLIAMS BIG NIGHT

The Pelicans' win offset an impressive night from Marvin Williams, who had a season-high 27 points to go along with 10 rebounds for Charlotte. Kemba Walker had 24 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds and Batum also scored 24 points.

"He's been huge for us all season, especially how he organizes us on defense and stuff that fans that don't necessarily notice," Zeller said.

UP NEXT

Pelicans: Return home to host Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.

Hornets: Play at home Monday night against the Chicago Bulls, a team they are chasing for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

NBA fines DeMarcus Cousins $50,000

NBA fines DeMarcus Cousins $50,000

The NBA fined Pelicans big man DeMarcus Cousins $50,000 for directing inappropriate language towards fans on separate occasions, the league announced on Thursday.

The incidents occurred during the Pelicans’ 105-97 victory over the Lakers on March 5 and at the conclusion of the Pelicans’ 88-83 loss to the Jazz the following day.

Over seven games with New Orleans, Cousins is averaging 22.1 points and 13.6 rebounds, while shooting 43 percent from the field and just over 31 percent from deep.

He was suspended for the Pelicans' game on March 1 for picking up his 18th technical.