DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points and 12 rebounds against his former team as the visiting Golden State Warriors defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 112-103 on Tuesday night.
Cousins, who left the Pelicans to sign with the Warriors as a free agent last summer, was booed each time he touched the ball in his only game in New Orleans this season. he led the way while several key teammates rested.
After clinching home-court advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs on Sunday, the Warriors had Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bogut among their inactive players.
Stephen Curry left for game after scoring five points in nine minutes in what the Warriors called “a precaution” after he sustained a mild foot sprain.
Golden State (57-24) will visit Memphis on Wednesday to conclude the regular season before beginning the playoffs in search of a third consecutive NBA title. The Warriors have won six games in a row and 10 of the past 12.
Even with so many absences, the Warriors still played 12 players, and 10 of them scored. Damion Lee added 20 points. Another former Pelican, Quinn Cook, scored 19, Jacob Evans had 11, and Alfonzo McKinnie and Jordan Bell 10 apiece.
Jahlil Okafor scored 30 points to lead the short-handed Pelicans, who dressed just eight players and finished the season 33-49. Christian Wood added 26 points and 12 rebounds, Ian Clark scored 20 and Cheick Diallo had 11.
All-Star forward Anthony Davis sat out his seventh consecutive game because of back spasms in what was presumably his final game as a member of the Pelicans after asking the team to trade him.
It might also have been Alvin Gentry’s final game as New Orleans’ coach after four seasons. The Pelicans are close to naming a replacement for fired general manager Dell Demps, and the new GM will evaluate Gentry.
The score was tied at halftime and three times in the third quarter before Golden State finished with a push. The Warriors closed the period on a 10-2 run to take an 88-79 at the end of the quarter.
—Field Level Media