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DeMarcus Cousins reacts to vintage performance after struggling to start season

DeMarcus Cousins, Rockets

Houston Rockets big man DeMarcus Cousins turned back the clock as he came out with a vintage performance against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night. After snagging their second-straight victory, Cousins shed light on the level of perseverance that he had to exhibit over the years amid all the struggles just to get to this point.

“It’s just proof that the work is working,” the four-time All-Star said via ESPN. “The work, the time, the effort, those days I didn’t want to get up and do it, the days I thought I was wasting, my time, the dog days I thought it was over for me — all of those thoughts at some point flashed in my mind. I would be lying if I didn’t have those moments, but just continue to believe in myself.”

With Christian Wood ruled out of the contest due to a right ankle sprain, the Rockets leaned on Cousins to be their focal point in the paint. He concluded the game with a double-double performance of 28 points, 17 rebounds, and five assists. Veteran swingman Eric Gordon also came out firing with 33 points on 6/9 shooting from beyond the arc.

The combined efforts of the two players were already enough to fend off Luka Doncic’s 26-point output for the Mavs. The Rockets stepped on the pedal and never looked back as they finished with a 133-108 victory after a high-scoring contest between the two teams.

After the game, Cousins shared that his performance in the game will help fuel him in their coming games. Moreover, he also remains optimistic for the long season ahead of him and the team.

“It’s a confidence boost, for sure,” he said. “It lets you know that it’s able to be done. It lets you know that the work you’re putting in is starting to come around. Stay the course. It’s a long season. It’s definitely going to be a process for me. I’m sure there’s going to be more bad days ahead. Just stay the course, stay level-headed and never stop working. That’s really all I can do.”

Hopefully, DeMarcus Cousins will get to sustain the momentum and help the Rockets as they enter uncharted territories with former star player James Harden now out of their roster.

Armed with a 6-9 record, the team will aim for their third consecutive victory when they host the Washington Wizards on Jan. 26.