Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins set a franchise record with 56 points in a 129-128 double-overtime loss to the Charlotte Hornets on Monday, per NBA TV:
He eventually fouled out on a questionable call in the second overtime, but that didn't keep him from stuffing the stat sheet.
He scored 47 points in regulation and then all nine of the Kings' points in the first overtime, prompting Adi Joseph of Sporting News to give him one of basketball's highest compliments:
DeMarcus Cousins is playing like peak peak Shaq.— Adi Joseph (@AdiJoseph) January 26, 2016
A three-point play in the first overtime gave Cousins a new single-game career high, per Bleacher Report:
Rondo to Boogie! https://t.co/DYy2CVAhe3— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) January 26, 2016
The accomplishment was more impressive considering he scored 48 points and grabbed 13 rebounds Saturday in a 108-97 victory over the Indiana Pacers. He is making 40-10 nights seem like the norm, per ESPN Stats & Info:
DeMarcus Cousins: 3rd game this season with 40 points & 10 rebounds (no other player has more than one)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 26, 2016
Cousins' magic number on the night seemed to be 54, per ESPN Stats & Info and Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com:
DeMarcus Cousins: 54 points, most by a Kings player since the team began playing in Sacramento (1985-86)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 26, 2016
Boogie's 54 points now the highest-scoring game in the NBA this season. Surpasses 53 by Jimmy Butler and Steph Curry.— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) January 26, 2016
Charlotte couldn't stop Cousins. He nailed 21 of 30 shots from the field and 13 of 16 from the free-throw line while grabbing 12 boards and dishing out four assists. Bleacher Report shared highlights of Cousins' huge night:
DeMarcus Cousins explodes for a career-high 56 points against the Hornets. He has 104 points in the last 2 games. https://t.co/O0DhXUPbGW— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 26, 2016
This video from Athlete Swag must have been what it sounded like over the PA system when Cousins was on the court:
DeMarcus Cousins went off tonight! https://t.co/dcT3ojpaEp— Athlete Swag (@AthleteSwag) January 26, 2016
The 25-year-old is now averaging 28.3 points and 11.4 rebounds per game, but the All-Star voting does not reflect his stats, per Pat Muldowney of Fox Sports:
This is your reminder that Zaza Pachulia & Enes Kanter got more All Star votes than Demarcus Cousins this year. pic.twitter.com/LmowMwTBBu— pat muldowney (@patmuldowney) January 26, 2016
After a 1-7 start to the season, the Kings crept into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference following a five-game winning streak prior to Monday's loss. Cousins is the main reason why. If he continues to rack up impressive performances, Sacramento will have a chance to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in 10 years.
After the game, Cousins was more focused on his team than his individual performance, per ESPN.com.
"Playoffs, playoffs, playoffs. That's all I am thinking about," Cousins said. "It's been some rough years. But it's not over and we still got a lot more to go. I'm happy in the moment, but I'm not satisfied."
He's not alone in feeling unsatisfied after an effort that should have been enough for a win, per FS1:
Kings head coach George Karl has not been happy with the play of his guards of late, per ESPN.com. "The last couple games, our guards aren't shooting at a high level and we're still winning games," Coach Karl said.
That makes Cousins' performance as of late even more impressive, and it's not just the past two games, per ESPN Stats & Info:
DeMarcus Cousins In January PPG 34.4 RPG 13.6 FG pct 52.1 30-10 games 8— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 26, 2016
He won't be starting in the All-Star Game, but after this performance, he should find his name on the Western Conference roster once reserves are announced Thursday.