Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins torched the Chicago Bulls, but it wasn’t enough to pull out the victory. 

Anthony Davis - 24 points, 10 rebounds, three assists

The New Orleans Pelicans managed to lose to Chicago 113-109 after putting up 46 points in the first quarter. It wasn’t Davis’ fault. Sure, he could’ve hit a couple more shots from the field, but it was the first game of the preseason, and I don’t think Alvin Gentry wanted to have to start relying on his superstar when the games don’t even matter. Regardless, Davis looked great. When it comes time for him to carry the Pels, it won’t be an issue.

He picked up right where he left off last season and dominated both ends of the ball. The aggressiveness and unselfishness were there, and Davis and Cousins look like they’ll blend just fine during their first full season.

 DeMarcus Cousins - 20 points, 10 rebounds, five assists

Cousins also impressed alongside Davis. It’s odd seeing them grace the court together, but it gives New Orleans an almost unlimited amount of options on offense. They can run pick-and-rolls with Cousins and still have Davis attack the glass, which is huge. New Orleans also used DMC away from the ball, and the offense looked fluid running those sets. It’s not normal, but the Pelicans will create a lot of havoc if they figure out how to use Cousins and Davis to set each other free.

DeMarcus was also active defensively and added two steals and a block to his line.

James Harden - 16 points, 10 assists, five rebounds

The fact that Harden collected a double-double in his first game of the season is absurd. What’s not absurd is how he got it, and nothing changed from last year. He still manipulated the offense with ease and delivered pinpoint passes to an array of shooters. The biggest change was Chris Paul, whose presence alone forces the defense to react. When you have a playmaker as dynamic as Harden, that complementary star works wonders.

It’ll be absorbing to watch Harden play alongside Paul. We saw what he could do last year, but this is going to breed an entirely different beast.

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