DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins, who missed the first half of the season recovering from a blown Achilles tendon, made his debut with the Golden State Warriors during their 112-94 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers (24-21).
Cousins scored 14 points in 15 minutes of action. The Warriors acquired Cousins in the offseason after the New Orleans Pelicans did not re-sign him after his Achilles injury. The Warriors had just won their second consecutive NBA title when they snatched up Cousins. Although Achilles injuries are difficult to recover from, the defending back-to-back champs added a premier center to their championship lineup.
The Golden State Warriors (32-14) are 8-2 since losing to the LA Lakers on Christmas. Both of their losses were by one-point, including an overtime thriller against a red-hot James Harden and the Houston Rockets. Last week, the Warriors set an NBA record with 51 points in the first quarter of a game.
Cousin did not rush his rehabilitation despite his eagerness to return to the court. He waited until the 46th game of the season to make his debut with the Warriors.
“Felt like a kid on Christmas,” Cousins said. “It’s been a long journey. This is probably one of the best days of my life.”
A nervous Cousins missed his first shot, but he threw down a dunk after a sweet pass from Kevin Durant.
“I’m just glad to know that I can still dunk,” Cousins said. “It felt good. I never in a million years thought that would be my first basket playing ball again.”
An overaggressive Boogie fouled out in only 15 minutes of action. He was whistled for two quick fouls in the first three minutes of the game and headed to the bench. He drew his third foul at the start of the second quarter.
Cousins’ final stat line read: 16 points, 3 three-pointers, 6 rebounds, 3 assists. Cousins went 3-for-4 from beyond the arc and finished the night 5-for-11 from the field.
Before he fouled out, the crowd in Los Angeles were treated with a little classic Boogie Basketball. At the start of the fourth quarter, Cousins connected on consecutive three-pointers to put the Warriors up 11 points.
When he fouled out, the Warriors bench gave Cousins a standing ovation.
Future for Boogie
Cousins is still getting his sea legs, but the Warriors have 38 games remaining in the regular season to bring Boogie into the current flow of the Warriors.
“He was great tonight,” said teammate Kevin Durant, who had 24 points, seven rebounds and five assists. “I like that he gonna keep people on us at the 3-point line. He just played his game. Fifteen minutes, he had 14 and 6. You turn that to 25 minutes, that’s an easy 20 and 10. I like where he’s going, good first step, and hopefully he keeps moving forward.”
Kevin Durant added 22 points, while Steph Curry led all scorers with 28 points.
Cousins started the game and the Warriors achieved a rare feat. All five starters were All-Star selections from the previous year. The Celtics were the last squad to start five All-Stars during the 1975-86 season.
“He looked good,” said Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He looked strong and quick. I was really impressed.”
According to the South Point Casino and Sports Book in Las Vegas, the Golden State Warriors are -175 odds to win the NBA championship.