New Orleans edges OKC despite DeMarcus Cousins’ ejection
New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins was tossed from play Monday night after striking Russell Westbrook in the head with a stray elbow. What initially looked like an overreaction by the refs to an unintentional reflex turned out to be more than justified when the replay review confirmed that Cousins clearly saw Westbrook and purposefully swung.
Fortunately for all involved, Westbrook returned to the floor quickly following the hard hit that left him on the floor holding his head in pain.
Despite Boogie’s untimely ejection with Pelicans down 4, Anthony Davis and crew rallied from behind to steal the win away from the Oklahoma City Thunder 114-107. With his partner in crime hitting the showers, Davis came up huge and racked up 36 points to go along with 15 boards.
Davis wasn’t the only one who stepped up to the plate following Cousins’ third quarter booting. Although he was started at shooting guard, a position he doesn’t normally play, former All-Star Jrue Holiday chipped in a handy 18 points of his own as the Pelicans completely erased an early 19 point deficit.
The Thunder looked ready to blowout New Orleans by 50 just minutes into the first quarter, but much like their season, their consistency waned and they blew the lead. To make matters worse, OKC was still recovering from a game against San Antonio in which they threw away a 23 point first half lead that allowed the Spurs to take the W.
Paul George drained six shots from downtown and came away with 26 efficient points. The same could not be said for teammate Carmelo Anthony sho scored 19 for the Thunder, but did little to make his team better.
While the league’s reigning MVP put together an impressive triple-double with a eye-popping 22-16-12 stat line, the numbers didn’t tell the entire story of his game. Though he struggled to shoot the ball, Westbrook continued jack up ill-advised shots en route to his eighth sub 40 percent shooting night of the year.
Oklahoma City has the talent to give the best teams in the NBA a run for their money, and that’s exactly what they have done. The star power in their starting five may give them the ability to edge out the league’s bottom half with little resistance, but their glaring lack of depth has already begun to catch up with them.
Names like Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook all on one team should strike fear into the hearts of opponents, but considering their rocky start together, their beginning to look like someone’s first round dream.