New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins (0) battles Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay (0) underneath the basket in the first half of an NBA basketball game in the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON Content Exchange

The Pelicans return to the Smoothie King Center to face the Sacramento Kings at 7 p.m. on Friday night. Here are three things to know.


DeMarcus Cousins is the first player in 27 years to record two games with at least 40 points and 20 rebounds since Patrick Ewing accomplished the feat in the 1989-1990 season. Cousins cracked the 40/20 barrier in Wednesday’s win over Denver and in the Pelicans previous matchup against the Kings.


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The Kings hold the dubious distinction of ranking No. 29 in both the NBA’s offensive and defensive efficiency rankings. Only the Phoenix Suns post a worse defense than Sacramento’s 109.3 points allowed per 100 possessions, and the Chicago Bulls keep the Kings’ offense (98 points per 100 possessions) from the basemen.


Anthony Davis continues to labor through a strained left adductor in his midsection, keeping his name lingering on the day-to-day injury list. However, Cousins has filled in his role admirably thus far this season, averaging 35.4 points, 15.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists in games Davis has missed.

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