Bulls collapse in fourth quarter, lose in 2OT as Cousins has epic stat line
Wilt Chamberlain hadn't done it much better than DeMarcus Cousins on Monday night in New Orleans.
Cousins produced a historic stat line of 44 points, 24 rebounds and 10 assists as the Pelicans rallied from a late 18-point deficit and defeated the Chicago Bulls 132-128 in double overtime.
According to ESPN, this was the first 40-20-10 game in the NBA since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had 44 points, 20 rebounds and 11 assists for Milwaukee on Feb. 26, 1972.
Cousins opened the second overtime with 5 straight points and the Bulls couldn't recover. They needed a defensive stop at the end while trailing by 2 points. The Bulls forced the miss, but Cousins helped tip the rebound out to a teammate, then added 2 clinching free throws.
Pelicans teammate Anthony Davis finished with 34 points but fouled out in the first overtime.
The Bulls were led by Robin Lopez and Jerian Grant with 22 points each. Grant added 13 assists, while Lauri Markkanen grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds, in addition to 14 points.
Cousins big night will get the headlines, but it was a tough ending for the Bulls, who squandered an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter. Before the epic collapse, the fourth quarter began with the Bulls' reserves stepping on the throttle.
The Bulls went ahead 104-86 with 7:33 left and game appeared headed for garbage time when Bobby Portis' free throws made it 108-91 with 5:06 remaining.
New Orleans responded with defensive pressure, and the Bulls got out of their offensive rhythm. Grant did too much dribbling trying to get free and the Pelicans went on a 9-0 run.
"That (pressure) really slowed us down and we had trouble getting into an offense, that's what got their run started," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg told reporters after the game. "I thought we did a lot of really good things out there, a lot of positives against a team that's playing really good basketball. Unfortunately couldn't make the plays when we needed them."
Lopez hit a hook shot to make it 110-100 with 3:23 left, but the offense went right back into the deep freeze. New Orleans kept chipping away and finally tied the score with 46 seconds left when Jrue Holiday knocked down an open 3-pointer after the Pelicans rebounded their own air ball.
After another Bulls miss, New Orleans completed a 21-2 run and went ahead on a Davis alley-oop, Markkanen tied it with a driving lay-in, but the Pelicans seemed to have it locked up when Davis hit a pair of free throws with 3.2 seconds left to take a 114-112 lead.
The Bulls were in a desperate situation with no timeouts left, but New Orleans made a defensive mistake, fouling Justin Holiday on a 3-point attempt just before the final buzzer. Holiday calmly knocked down the first 2 free throws but missed the third with a chance to win.
In the first overtime, Markkanen tied it on a drive with 31.7 seconds left, then New Orleans missed two chances to win it.
This game featured extended minutes from Zach LaVine, who scored 19 points in 24 minutes. He played down the stretch in the fourth quarter for the first time and seemed to flaunt his speed and athleticism for the first time since he began his comeback from knee surgery.
The Bulls finished the night going 8-for-31 from 3-point land. That ended their 10-game streak with at least 10 3-pointers, the longest in team history.
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