NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana) • After DeMarcus Cousins recorded a historic triple-double in New Orleans' 132-128 double overtime win over Chicago, he was made to reflect on a career high in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
It was not just the 24 rebounds he pulled down but the 52 minutes he spent on court.
"My strength coach had the nerve to ask me if I wanted to lift after this game. I almost lost it. If I had some energy, we would've fought," the 27-year-old said with a smile after becoming the first player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to have at least 40 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists in a game.
Cousins also finished with 44 points - on 13-of-29 shooting - and 10 assists as he combined with Anthony Davis, who scored 34, to spark a comeback by the Pelicans in regulation before they eventually pulled off the marathon victory against the Bulls on Monday.
Cousins scored seven points in the second overtime on a three-pointer, a turnaround jumper and two free throws with eight seconds left in front of a crowd of 17,100 at Smoothie King Centre.
He became the first NBA player since Abdul-Jabbar in 1972 to achieve the feat. The others are Wilt Chamberlain (six times), Oscar Robertson and Elgin Baylor. All four players are in the Hall of Fame.
"I'm just glad we won," Cousins said after the Pelicans overcame an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit.
DEMARCUS COUSINS' FEAT
"It wouldn't have really meant (much) if I didn't get a win.
"It's cool to be in company with a guy like Wilt. He was a guy who put up video-game numbers his entire career. Just to have a little game like his, it's pretty cool."
E'Twaun Moore scored 15 points, including a three in the second overtime, to help the Pelicans win for the fifth time in six games.
Bulls forward Justin Holiday was fouled shooting a three-pointer with 0.3 seconds left in normal time.
He made the first two, but missed the third, sending the game to overtime with the score tied at 114.
He finished with 15 points while Jerian Grant and Robin Lopez both scored 22 for the Bulls.
"I think we just willed our way through this game," Cousins said.