DeMarcus Cousins of New Orleans Pelicans ejected for swinging elbow at Russell Westbrook

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NEW ORLEANS — Pelicans middle DeMarcus Cousins was ejected Monday evening from a 114-107 win over Oklahoma City after swinging his elbow into the top of Thunder star Russell Westbrook.

The play occurred underneath the Pelicans’ basket within the third quarter after Cousins had secured a rebound. When Cousins raised his elbows close to Westbrook’s face, the Thunder guard dropped to the ground, holding his head. Westbrook remained sprawled on the ground for a number of seconds.

Replays confirmed Cousins barely swung his elbow towards Westbrook, catching him on the again of his head close to his neck with out following via. Westbrook was OK and remained within the recreation.

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Officials didn’t eject Cousins from the sport till viewing replays on a TV on the scorers’ desk, after which they referred to as a flagrant foul 2. Hard contact will not be required for such a foul, solely an act deemed reckless or harmful.

“We didn’t think it was that fair. He doesn’t do anything intentional,” Pelicans level guard Jrue Holiday mentioned of Cousins. “We just wanted to win for him.”

Cousins had 18 factors, 9 rebounds and 4 badists earlier than his ejection with 5 minutes to play within the third. He ranks fifth within the NBA with 26.6 factors per recreation and third with 12.9 rebounds per recreation.

New Orleans trailed 76-72 when Cousins was ejected however surged forward quickly after with an 11-Three run, throughout which Jameer Nelson, E’Twaun Moore and Darius Miller every hit 3s, with Nelson’s banking in from close to half courtroom because the shot clock expired. Anthony Davis paced the Pelicans with 36 factors and 15 rebounds.

Davis helped New Orleans finish a two-game skid along with his typical array of dunks, layups and clutch midrange photographs. He additionally hit 18 of 22 free throws.

“It was tough losing [Cousins], being one of our star players, but anything is liable to happen in a game,” Davis mentioned. “So guys stepped up and were ready to play.”

It was the second flagrant 2 of the NBA season however the second in two weeks.

On Nov. 5, Carmelo Anthony was given a flagrant 2 and ejected after contact with Portland’s Jusuf Nurkic throughout a drive to the basket. Replays didn’t seem to indicate a convincing intent on the play by Anthony, who elevated into Nurkic and double-clutched, making contact to Nurkic’s chin along with his elbow.

Nurkic stayed down for a couple of moments whereas holding his face, which triggered the badessment.

The NBA later upheld the officers’ name, saying Anthony’s play “met the criteria of hard contact above the shoulders with high potential for injury” and was “dangerous and reckless in nature.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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