NEW ORLEANS (AP) DeMarcus Cousins enjoyed his most prolific performance yet with the Pelicans with 41 points and 17 rebounds, and New Orleans beat the Memphis Grizzlies 95-82 on Tuesday night.
Cousins hit five 3-pointers, tying a career high. He made five shots inside while being fouled for three-point plays and had the jubilant home crowd chanting his nickname, “Boogie.”
Cousins also blocked three shots and assisted on Anthony Davis‘ crowd-pleasing alley-oop dunk.
Davis added 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Pelicans, who won for the fifth time in six games while snapping Memphis’ four-game winning streak.
Mike Conley 16 scored points for Memphis, while JaMychal Green and Troy Daniels each scored 12.
Memphis led by 12 in the first half, but New Orleans surged ahead with a 21-0 run in the third quarter.
New Orleans rallied after an anemic first half in which the Pelicans scored only 34 points on 28.6 percent shooting. Memphis, however, failed to fully take advantage, leading only by seven when the half ended.
Conley’s 3 made it 46-36 early in the third quarter, but then the Pelicans exploded for 21 straight points, starting with Davis’s 10-foot jumper and Cousins’ 3. Cousins added another 3 during the surge and also hit a right-handed shot off the glass while falling down after he’d been fouled by Vince Carter – a play that sent the crowd into a frenzy.
Memphis tried to rally, but each time Cousins seemed to respond with a momentum-changing play.
With 5:31 to go, he grabbed an offensive rebound for a put-back while being fouled by James Ennis. Cousins white headband fell to the court on the play, and as the ball fell through the net, Cousins let out a triumphant yell while leaning back and clenching both fists in front of him.
Grizzlies: Coach David Fizdale gave starting shooting guard Tony Allen the night off, saying he wanted Allen to rest his sore left knee. Allen had been playing through it, but Fizdale said he was concerned that failing to give Allen some extra rest this week could turn a relatively minor ailment into something more serious. … Marc Gasol and Andrew Harrison each scored 10 points. … Rookie Wayne Seldon, signed by Memphis immediately after concluding a 10-day contract with New Orleans, started against the Pelicans. … Zach Randolph grabbed 10 rebounds.
Pelicans: Crawford hit a pair of 3s and finished with 10 points. … Holiday came up just short while attempting a soaring round-house jam over two Memphis defenders. The Pelicans’ point guard, who was trailing a fast break that began with Frazier’s steal, had the ball seemingly slip from his grip a split-second early, and it rattled back and forth off the back and front rims before popping out. … New Orleans’ 34 points in the first half matched its lowest halftime point total of the season.
Grizzlies: Visit San Antonio on Thursday night.
Pelicans: Visit Houston on Friday night.