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DeMarcus Cousins Tears Left Achilles Tendon; Out For Season

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The Pelicans lose an All-Star while in the middle of the playoff hunt.

NBA: Houston Rockets at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

DeMarcus Cousins will miss the rest of the 2017-18 season after suffering a left Achilles tendon tear tonight in the Pelicans’ 115-113 win over the Rockets. Cousins grabbed the back of his left ankle and fell to the ground after going up for a rebound in the closing seconds of the game; he put no pressure on the leg as he exited the court.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski subsequently confirmed an initial diagnosis of a left Achilles tendon tear. Cousins has yet to undergo an MRI, but Wojnarowski states that the prognosis is clear.

Cousins’ injury is a serious blow to the Pelicans’ playoff hopes. They are currently No. 6 in the Western Conference with a 27-21 record, but are only three games ahead of the No. 9 Clippers. New Orleans has won seven of their last eight games, including victories over the Blazers, Celtics, and Rockets.

The Blazers, who have also been playing well recently, sit only a half game back from the Pelicans and could easily surpass them with Cousins set to miss significant time.

The Achilles injury could also have major financial ramifications for Cousins, who will be a free agent after this season. According to the New York Times’ Marc Stein, the Pelicans were planning to offer Cousins a maximum contract this summer, but the severity of the injury could obviously complicate that decision.

Before the injury, Cousins contributed a triple double tonight with 15 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists. He was selected as an All-Star starter, along with teammate Anthony Davis, earlier this month. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will now have to choose a replacement All-Star.