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DeMarcus Cousins had 14 points and six rebounds in 15 minutes as the Golden State Warriors beat the Los Angeles Clippers 112-94 on Friday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The Warriors center returned to the court for the first time since suffering a ruptured Achilles on January 26, 2018, as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans.
After fouling out, Cousins left to a standing ovation from his teammates and some Warriors fans:
Tobias Harris scored 28 points for the 24-21 Clips, who have lost five straight. Stephen Curry led the 32-14 Warriors with 28 of his own.
DeMarcus Cousins Rusty, but Warriors Will Soon Be Invincible
Before the game, Mark Medina of the Mercury News tweeted the scariest basketball clip any non-Warriors fans will have seen this year.
Cousins hit four of six three-pointers during that pregame shootaround. Granted, the 28-year-old accomplished the feat with no resistance, but Cousins’ ability to knock down threes is the main reason why the Warriors will soon be invincible.
Boogie is primarily known for being a force down low as he bullies his way to dunks and rebounds, but he added the three-point shot to his repertoire in 2015. Over the next three years, Cousins made 35.2 percent of his attempts en route to averaging 26.5 points per game.
It’s not as if Cousins was barely shooting threes either. The ex-Kentucky star attempted 4.7 shots from downtown per game.
Cousins picked up where he left off Friday as he drilled a three-pointer from the elbow early in the second quarter.
Frankly, it’s unfair that the Warriors now have a player who can do that and announce his return to the league with an NBA Jam-level power slam for his first bucket in Bay Area threads.
The big man also showed off his deft passing skills, which will help him fit right in.
Cousins naturally looked a bit rusty after a calendar year away from the game. He had three fouls in his first eight minutes and looked a bit tired, which was to be expected.
Cousins’ outside shooting, paint dominance and passing are reasons enough to be afraid of the Warriors, but he also crashed the glass admirably given the severity of his Achilles injury and proved just how valuable he will be when it comes to generating extra possessions that can lead to even more spot-up threes for the Splash Brothers.
Despite missing Stephen Curry for 11 games, Draymond Green for 14, Cousins for the whole year and Klay Thompson’s shooting slumps, the Warriors entered Friday first in the Western Conference with a 31-14 record.
With Curry, Green and Cousins back and Thompson looking almost as hot as ever in January, every non-Warriors fan’s fears may soon be realized: Only a team made up of All-Stars could take down Golden State in a seven-game series.
That may have been the case even without Cousins on the roster, but even if he never gets back to his old form, teams will be hard-pressed to take a game off Golden State in the playoffs.