Published January 08, 2015
(SportsNetwork.com) - The two best young big men in the NBA will be showcased Tuesday night when DeMarcus Cousins leads his Sacramento Kings into the Big Easy to take on Anthony Davis and his New Orleans Pelicans.
These two sides met in Sacramento one week ago and Davis' Pelicans came out on top. Davis finished with 28 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in New Orleans' 106-100 victory. Cousins finished with 24 points and 17 rebounds en route to the Western Conference Player of the Week honors.
It's tough sledding for the Pelicans at the moment. Starting shooting guard Eric Gordon underwent surgery for a torn labrum and will be sidelined indefinitely.
"I feel bad for him," Pelicans' coach Monty Williams said of Gordon. "He was starting to play the way he was capable."
Williams indicated Austin Rivers will start in Gordon's absence.
The Pelicans went 2-2 on a western road trip, but closed the sojourn with a 106-94 victory over the Utah Jazz on Saturday.
Davis poured in a career-high 43 points to go along with 14 rebounds.
"(Davis) didn't want to come out of the game," said Williams. "He never lost his rhythm. We know he's a special player that's just starting to scratch the surface. Tonight was a big time game for him."
Jrue Holiday was the only other Pelican in double figures with 19 points. He also dished out nine assists in the win
The Pelicans hit the road again after Thanksgiving with stops in Atlanta and Washington.
Tuesday's game will be the second of a four-game road trip for the Kings, who started the trek with a win. Actually, Sacramento has won two straight after they buried the Chicago Bulls before leaving California.
On Saturday, Cousins was too much for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He posted another double-double with 31 points and 18 rebounds to lead Sacramento to a 113-101 road win.
Cousins was efficient, scoring his 31 points on just 15 shots, and he made all four free throws in the final minutes to seal the win. The Kings knocked down all nine of their attempts from the line in the fourth quarter.
The Kings dominated the game down low. They outrebounded the Timberwolves 50-37 and owned a 56-44 advantage in points in the paint.
After a slow first quarter with five points on six shots, Ben McLemore heated up. He was 7-of-11 from the floor the rest of the game and finished with 22 points and nine boards in the victory.
"I feel a lot better," McLemore said. "More confident in my shot. My all- around game. Everyone on the team and my coaches have confidence in me."
New Orleans' victory in Sacramento last week stopped a three-game Kings winning streak in this series. The Kings have won two straight in the Big Easy.