If you have the ESPN app on your phone and get constant updates, you probably woke up with about three updates last night about former Kentucky Wildcat Demarcus Cousins. I know I sure did. In his past two games, he has completely went off. The big man now has the highest-scoring game this season in the NBA with 56 points scored against the Charlotte Hornets. He’s not a point guard, he’s not a shooting guard, he’s a power forward with that record right now. This game one game after dropping 40 points against the Brooklyn Nets. His then career-high.
Cousins’ 56 points were the second-most by a player in a game in which his teammate had at least 20 assists (as Rajon Rondo did). According to Elias Sports Bureau research, the only player with more was Wilt Chamberlain in his 100-point game against the New York Knicks in the 1961-62 season.
Elias also notes that the most recent player scoring 50 and a teammate recording 20 assists is not who you might think. It’s not Karl Malone and John Stockton, Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton, or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson.
It’s actually Tracy Murray and Rod Strickland in the 1997-98 season. Murray averaged 9.0 points per game for his career.
Cousins also became the fourth player with back-to-back 45-point, 10-rebound games in the past 30 seasons. The other three are Charles Barkley (1987-88), Michael Jordan (1989-90) and Antawn Jamison (2000-01).
Lastly, according to Elias research, Cousins’ 56 points are the third-most by a player who fouled out of a game since the NBA and ABA merged in 1976-77. Pete Maravich scored 68 in one of his epic games (1976-77) and Kobe Bryant scored 58 in 2006-07.
Meanwhile, Rondo became the first player with 20 assists, 10 rebounds and fewer than 10 points in a game since Magic Johnson in April 1988.
Cousins is averaging 34.4 points (best in the NBA) and 13.6 rebounds in 12 January games. He has eight games with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds. In the four games in which he didn’t have a 30-10 game, he’s averaging 26 points and 11.8 rebounds.
And to think people don’t think he should be an NBA All-Star. What nonsense. If he’s not the biggest big man in the NBA in your opinion, you’re crazy.