OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Starting Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins’ postseason could be in jeopardy after he injured his left quadriceps muscle in the first quarter of Monday night’s 135-131 Game 2 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs.
“There’s a pretty significant quad injury,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We’ll get an MRI tomorrow. But he’s going to be out for, I’ll just say a while because I think it’s not clear right now how long he’ll be out. It’s significant.”
This is a terrible blow for Cousins in just his second career playoff game following a nine-year wait. The big man returned in January from a nearly year-long absence following surgery for a torn left Achilles tendon.
He hobbled to the locker room at the 8:09 mark of the first quarter. At the 8 1/2-minute mark Cousins stole the ball from Patrick Beverley in the back court and tried to retrieve the loose ball when went down in front of the Golden State bench and grabbed at his left quad.
“We’ll rally behind him, tell him it’s far from the end of the world, tell him he has so much great basketball ahead of him,” Klay Thompson said. “He believes that. … He’ll bounce back. I know he will. He’s a fighter.”
Cousins had two points, two rebounds and an assist in just less than 4 minutes. He fouled out of Saturday’s 121-104 Game 1 win with nine points, nine rebounds and four assists in 21 minutes.
Last summer, Cousins came to the Warriors seeking a chance, even though he was working back from the season-ending surgery after injuring the Achilles while with New Orleans. Cousins joined the two-time defending champions for $5.3 million, a low-risk move for Golden State general manager Bob Myers that worked out well for everyone.
“We’ll miss his low-post dominance, of course. We’ll miss his screen-setting, his energy out there,” Thompson said. “I’m hoping for a speedy recovery because we really need him if we want to make this run.”
Kevon Looney filled in and scored a career-high 19 points making all six of his shots. Looney will be called upon to fill the void along with recently signed center Andrew Bogut, who rejoined the Warriors for another run and to provide depth down low for this exact scenario.
The Warriors locker room was more subdued than usual.
“It’s tough for sure, you feel for him considering all he’s been in this last year,” Stephen Curry said of Cousins. “This is a big stage, the playoffs. He’s been looking forward to this. I don’t know the extent of the injury at this point but hope he gets back sooner than later. But just man to man in terms of him and what he’s been through, it’s tough. There’s no sugarcoating it. You hate seeing that opportunity on this big stage taken away from him like that.”