National Basketball Association
New Orleans 115, Milwaukee 108
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
#20 Leroy Richardson, #50 Gediminas Petraitis, #25 Tony Brothers
NEW ORLEANS -- DeMarcus Cousins plays basketball in bold, broad strokes, perhaps because subtlety in the NBA usually is reserved for chumps.
The maddeningly talented New Orleans Pelicans center showed his entire yin-and-yang arsenal Wednesday night in a 115-108 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at the Smoothie King Center.
He scored a team-high 26 points -- including a 3-pointer from the left wing that sealed the game with 22 seconds left -- grabbed 13 rebounds, dished out seven assists and, not surprisingly, committed nine turnovers.
After finishing one turnover shy of a triple-double, Cousins said decision-making is something he is trying to work on. Cousins was a big reason the Pelicans were able to overcome 21 turnovers against Milwaukee, almost half of which he committed.
"I'm the main culprit of that," said Cousins, who is averaging 5.1 turnovers a game, most in the league next to Russell Westbrook's 4.7. "It just shows how good we could be if we just cut down half our turnovers. Just got to take care of the ball better, make better decisions. I definitely have to make better decisions with the ball. I take full responsibility for the high amount of turnovers."
With the bad comes a lot of good.
Cousins scored nine points in the final 8:12, a key reason the Pelicans (15-14) outscored the Bucks 28-14 in the final 10 minutes to win going away.
Cousins made another key play when he rebounded a missed 3-point attempt by teammate Jameer Nelson and one-handed the ball for a tomahawk dunk, putting the Pelicans up 106-101 with 4:20 left.
"I saw that Jameer was going to miss," Cousins said while laughing. "Something just told me to keep going. When it left his hand, it didn't look too good. I'm not the guy who's (normally) soaring above the rim, but the opportunity kind of presented itself, and I took advantage of that."
New Orleans' Anthony Davis, coming back from a left adductor strain that sidelined him for one game, added 25 points and 10 rebounds, and guard E'Twaun Moore continued his torrid outside shooting, making 4 of 6 from 3-point range to finish with 21 points.
Milwaukee (15-11) got a game-high 32 points and nine rebounds from Giannis Antetokounmpo -- his 12th 30-point-plus game of the season. However, the NBA's second-leading scorer was held to 11 points in the second half on 3-of-9 shooting.
"I thought we did a much better job of pulling in and taking away driving lanes," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. "(Antetokounmpo) likes to drive the ball and then spin. We took that away from him. And then I thought AD did a great job against him, getting into him and being a little more physical with him and making him a jump shooter. We kept him out of the lane."
The Pelicans trailed 94-87 early in the fourth quarter after Milwaukee scored the first nine points of the period, but New Orleans outscored the Bucks 28-14 in the final 10 minutes. After using a 12-4 run to pull back in front 99-98 with 7:01 left, the Pelicans began to pull away, scoring nine of the next 12 points, with Cousins highlighting the 21-7 run with his one-hand rebound of Nelson's miss for the thunderous dunk.
Cousins followed up by feeding Holiday for a layup to put New Orleans up 108-101 with 3:39 left. The Pelicans made 13 of 25 3-point attempts, in part because of excellent movement (35 assists on 45 made field goals).
"We knew coming in they were going to shoot a lot of threes," Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd said. "We didn't do a very good job of taking that away. We didn't guard the 3-point line in the fourth quarter."
"I think they hit threes," Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon said. "Threes have been our killer for the last two years. They made threes down the stretch, and we didn't contest them. That hurts and that wins games."
NOTES: New Orleans G Darius Miller (3 of 5) has made multiple 3-pointers in 13 of his past 16 games. ... Milwaukee C Giannis Antetokounmpo has scored at least 30 points in 12 of 26 games this season. ... The Bucks have scored at least 100 points in 10 consecutive games, but they lost for only the third time in that stretch. ... Pelicans C DeMarcus Cousins had an ugly end of the first half. With the Pelicans milking the final seconds on the clock, holding a 62-61 lead, Cousins turned the ball over at the top the key and the fouled John Henson with one second left. Henson made two free throws for a 63-61 Milwaukee lead. In the second half, Cousins got into a shouting match with a fan sitting at courtside. "He was very disrespectful," Cousins said. "And he was a New Orleans fan."
Top Game Performances
Giannis Antetokounmpo 32
DeMarcus Cousins 26
Khris Middleton 10
Jrue Holiday 8
Giannis Antetokounmpo 9
DeMarcus Cousins 13
Giannis Antetokounmpo 5
||Free Throws Made
Anthony Davis 5
Giannis Antetokounmpo 5
Jameer Nelson 2
John Henson 2
Anthony Davis 4
Team Stats Summary
New Orleans will play their next game on the road against Denver. The Pelicans have a W/L % of .429 after a win and .600 after a loss.
Milwaukee will play their next game at home against Chicago. The Bucks have a W/L % of .562 after a win and .600 after a loss.