The injury occurred with just 8.1 seconds remaining in the Pelicans' 115-113 win Friday against the Rockets at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. Cousins finished the game with a triple double, 15 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.
The news is brutal for the Pelicans, who after climbing to sixth in the West and winning nine of their last 12 games, will be without their All-Star center. He is obviously one of New Orleans' most irreplaceable players, and a long-term injury to him would be thoroughly devastating to their playoff hopes in the Western Conference.
As for the Pelicans, they'll be hard-pressed to deal for help replacing Cousins at the deadline due to their cap situation.
Holiday was fouled and missed both free throws, but Dante Cunningham grabbed the rebound for New Orleans. The Spurs lost for just the fourth time at home this season. As team captain, LeBron James sent well wishes to the injured Cousins on Twitter.
The Pelicans' win over Houston was one of the team's most dramatic of the season and easily could be considered their most important victory to date, but Cousins' season-ending injury made it a bittersweet night for the franchise.
The timing is also brutal for Cousins, as he's in a contract year. As much as we can, we have to move forward and try to figure some things out.
Cousins has never reached the playoffs during his career, and he'll probably be watching from the sidelines once again when the postseason begins this year.
In fact, those numbers had Cousins on pace to join Charles Barkley (1992-93) as the only players in league history to average at least 25 points, 12 boards, five assists and 1.5 steals over the course of an entire season. But the Pelicans' potent big duo is particularly problematic for a Rockets squad built to play fast and fire away from the perimeter. A few weeks ago, they had to see the Saints lose a playoff game in the most gut-wrenching fashion possible.
After just being announced as an starter for the 2018 National Basketball Association ll-Star game, bad news strikes where it always hurts most: the injury front.