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The New Orleans Pelicans will be without All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins for the rest of the season after Cousins suffered a torn left Achilles tendon Friday.
Cousins had to be helped off the floor after suffering the injury in the closing seconds of the Pelicans’ 115-113 home victory against the Houston Rockets. An MRI after the game revealed a full tear of the Achilles, reported Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports, which will end Cousins’ season after 48 games. A person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports but requested anonymity because the injury wasn’t yet announced publicly.
The injury came after Cousins followed his missed free throw with 15 seconds left. Cousins ran through the lane to try to get the rebound, punched the ball away from the Rockets’ Trevor Ariza and jumped near the baseline to save the ball from going out of bounds. As he landed, Cousins appeared unable to place any weight on his left foot before collapsing to the ground.
Cousins, who was set to start for LeBron James’ team in the All-Star Game, finished the game with a triple double (15 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists).
New Orleans had to survive a furious Houston rally to pick up its fourth consecutive victory and seventh win in eight games.
Chris Paul scored a season-high 38 points before fouling out in the final seconds and nearly led the Rockets back from a 21-point, third-quarter deficit.
Houston tied it at 104-104 on Luc Mbah a Moute’s layup with 2:34 to go. And the game was tied once more at 109 on Ariza’s three-pointer with 1:17 to go before Jrue Holiday’s driving floater and Cousins’ putback gave New Orleans the lead for good.
Anthony Davis added 27 points for the Pelicans.
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Rockets: Harden moved into second in Rockets history in assists with 3,347, passing Allen Leavell’s 3,339. … Harden missed eight of nine 3-point attempts, although six of his free throws came after he was fouled on 3s. … Former Pelican Ryan Anderson, who came in averaging 10.1 points, did not score, missing all three of his shots.
Pelicans: Piled up 24 assists on 27 field goals in the first half and finished with 36 assists on 44 made shots. … Recently acquired guard DeAndre Liggins contributed a pair of timely 3s in the second half. … Improved to 14-9 at home.