MANILA, Philippines – DeMarcus Cousins suited up in his first NBA Finals start and he did not disappoint.
The polarizing star delivered impressive numbers across the board as the Golden State Warriors tied the best-of-seven duel with a 109-104 win over the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, June 2 (Monday, June 3, Philippine time).
Sustaining a torn left quad early in the playoffs, Cousins was questionable that he could play in the finals for a Golden State squad already without injured superstar Kevin Durant.
He eventually suited up in the series opener, but was a nonfactor in only 8 minutes of play in a 109-118 loss to Toronto.
Cousins, though, was not going to have a second straight bad game on the biggest stage of them all as he delivered 11 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 blocks in Game 2.
“He was special. Obviously, you get more comfortable, more minutes and playing aggressive when he’s out there,” Steph Curry said of Cousins.
“He puts a lot of pressure on their defense and even on our defensive end – making his presence felt blocking shots, being at the right place and at the right time. It’s a big lift for us.”
Having never played in the playoffs before he joined the Warriors, Cousins relished the chance to show up when it mattered most.
“This is what I’ve worked for my entire career – to be on this stage, to have this opportunity to play for something,” Cousins said.
Golden State would need Cousins to continue holding the fort as it hosts Toronto in Game 3 in Oakland on Wednesday, June 5 (Thursday, June 6, Philippine time). – Rappler.com