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DeMarcus Cousins steps into starting lineup and drops 31 points for first time since 2018

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Cousins stepped into the starting lineup and dominant the Rockets.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Denver Nuggets Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Early on in his career, DeMarcus Cousins looked like he was on pace to be the most dominant former Kentucky Wildcats player of all time.

However, a plethora of season-ending injuries including a ruptured Achilles and torn ACL has forced him into many setbacks. He also tore his quad while with the Warriors. The rehab process has been long, and it’s certainly slowed him down quite a bit.

The big man who recently signed for the remainder of the season with the Denver Nuggets is officially back. Not just back in terms of being on the court, but back in terms of being a lethal scoring threat.

Reigning MVP Nikola Jokić was out with a non-Covid illness. When Jokic does play, Cousins only sees around 15-20 minutes per game.

On Friday, he totaled 24 minutes and scored 31 points, topping 30 for the first time since 2018. Cousins also added in 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Let’s just say the fans also appreciate the effort of the 31-year-old center.

The Nuggets are now 11-1 with Cousins in the lineup, and while he’ll likely never be a full-time starter again, Cousins could be a quality backup for quite a while.

His size allows him to still be dominant offensively, and he’s been able to move well enough to keep up defensively. Coming into Friday, Cousins was shooting just 38% from the field for the Nuggets, so seeing him shoot 10-for-14 from the field was also encouraging.