Sacramento, CA – DeMarcus Cousins had some week. First he confronts a member of the media about and article that mentioned his younger brother. That didn’t sit too well with the power forward who reacted in a unprofessional manner.
The Kings fined Cousins and undisclosed amount while he apologized for his actions. But tonight he kept it all about basketball. He posted his second career 50-point game as he scored 55 points on 17-of-28 shooting.
The 17 shots made is a new season high for Cousins, topping 16-made shots at Washington (11/28/16). Cousins also grabbed 13 rebounds recording his 15th double-double of the season in Sacramento’s 126-121 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
“Certainly DeMarcus (Cousins) had a nice game,” said Kings head coach Dave Joerger.
The Trail Blazers dominated the first half by outscoring Sacramento in the paint. CJ McCollum finished with 36 points scoring 14 points in the first quarter. Mason added a career-high 27 points with 13 rebounds. Portland ended the half with a 72-60 lead.
By the second half, Cousins had nothing to lose while shooting from beyond the arc, driving to the baseline and creating shots when it seemed impossible. With 0.5 left in the quarter, Sacramento trimmed the lead 99-93.
“No, we didn’t stop him,” said McCollum. “We tried to make it difficult for him, but he’s a skilled player. He’s got a lot of ways to score. He hit some 3s tonight, got to the free throw line, played bully ball. He did a little bit of everything.”
To start the fourth the Kings were down by one. Ty Lawson hit back-to-back shots. Then it became a battle between Cousins and Plumlee. As time expired, Cousins got hit with a technical with 35.2 left in the game for what refs thought he threw his mouthpiece.
“I called a technical foul because I thought DeMarcus [Cousins] threw his mouthpiece into the stands when it ended up underneath Portland’s bench,” ref Brian Forte said.
“I conferred with my partners and they confirmed that he did not throw the mouthpiece and that it came out of his mouth and that’s how it ended up there.”
A technical foul would result in Cousins 6th foul and got ejected immediately. After a discussion amongst all referees, Cousins tech was rescinded and he trotted back on the court to shoot two free throws and sealed Sacramento’s win.
“When I was going to the locker room I was thinking what I was going to break up first,” said Cousins. “But when I heard I had to come back to shoot free throws, I had to calm myself down.”
The Kings shot a season-high 43 free throws and made a season-high 36 free throws led by DeMarcus Cousins who made 16-of-17 from the charity stripe. The 16 makes is a new season-high.