Thursday night featured DeMarcus Cousins traveling back to Sacramento, and the All-NBA center didn’t disappoint as the Pelicans grabbed the victory. 

DeMarcus Cousins - 41 points, 23 rebounds, six assists

Last season, the Sacramento Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins after the All-Star Game even though they said they wouldn’t trade him. And that about sums up their relationship. Boogie, who’s been on fire to start the season, returned to Sacramento where the hometown fans showered him with applause as he took the court. He then recorded the first 40-20 game of his career. I can’t give a definite answer, but it appeared that Cousins was, in fact, playing angry but kept his emotions in check — after all, he has no beef with anyone on the team. His superhuman effort brought the Pelicans back from a dismal start and gave them their second win of the season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo - 28 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists

Thursday was Giannis’ most human game of the young season. It was the lowest point total he accrued and also the first time he shot less than 50 percent from the floor; Boston held him to 47.6 (10-of-21), and the previous low was 59.1 (13-of-22). The Bucks and Celtics played on national television, and it was fascinating to watch how Brad Stevens wanted Giannis defended and then how Jason Kidd made no adjustments as the game went on. Down the stretch, Antetokounmpo was making plays, but he was the only one involved. The margin would’ve been much wider had Giannis not buried two threes within the final 90 seconds.

Al Horford - 27 points, nine rebounds, four assists

There are times when Al Horford’s production is quiet, but he’s vital to his team’s success. There are other times when Horford goes off and reminds us why the Celtics gave him the money they did. Thursday was the latter. He missed just three shots all night (11-of-14) and anchored the defense that gave Milwaukee problems. Moreover, he and Kyrie Irving showed impressive chemistry despite being together for such a short time. For Boston to make up ground during Gordon Hayward‘s absence, Horford is going to have to take his play to another level, and that’s moreso when the rest of the team is having an off night.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Kyrie Irving - 24 points, seven assists two steals
  • Blake Griffin - 25 points, eight rebounds, five assists
  • Al-Farouq Aminu - 19 points, six rebounds, three steals, two assists

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