DeMarcus Cousins in on a rampage and the rest of the league has yet to find a way to slow him down.
Two days after torching Indiana for a career-high 48 points, Cousins continued his exceptional scoring efforts by pouring in 56 points against Charlotte, more than any other player has totaled in a single game this season.
The only way Charlotte was able to prevent him from scoring the ball Monday night was to banish him to the bench following a questionable foul call in the second overtime session.
With Cousins eliminated from the game after fouling out with 3:30 left in the second overtime, Charlotte was able to prevail 129-128 behind some clutch shooting from Troy Daniels.
The loss of Cousins was especially detrimental for the Kings, as the team managed just two points off a dunk from Willie Cauley-Stein served as the only offensive production for the team once their star center went out of the game.
The dependency on Cousins isn’t anything new for Sacramento, as his usage percentage of 35.7 percent is 2.5 percent more than anyone else in the league.
The scoring barrage from Cousins over the past two games has resulted in his scoring average for the season to increase 1.5 points per game. The 6-foot-10 center is now up to 27.6 points per game on the year, just a .1 behind James Harden for the second highest scoring average in the league.
Golden State guard Stephen Curry leads the NBA in scoring at 30.3 points per game.
Cousins has rapidly ascended the league’s list of scoring leaders with an exceptionally effective January, as he has scored at least 30 points in nine of 12 games for Sacramento since the start of the month.
Despite missing eight games this season due to either injury or suspension, Cousins still ranks ninth in the league in total points scored with 992. 413 of those points have come in the past 12 games.
The NBA appointed Cousins as its Western Conference Player of the Week for his efforts and he has probably locked up the award for the month already.
Cousins has averaged 34.1 points on 52.1 percent shooting from the field to go along with 13.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals and a block per game since the calendar has flipped to 2016.
His efforts have turned the Kings into one of the fluid offenses in the league.
With Cousins on the court, Sacramento is averaging 111 points per 100 possessions, a figure approaching the offensive efficiency of Golden State.
The game plan has been relatively simple for the Kings over the past two games, as they largely just fed the ball to the fifth overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft and let him create his own shot.
The results have been devastating, as Cousins has totaled 104 points, 25 rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks.
The double-double Cousins posted against the Hornets was his consecutive and his 26 double-doubles on the year are tied for the third most in the NBA this year.
Charlotte surrendered 21 made shots to Cousins Monday night, marking the most converted shots in a single game this season.
The Hornets didn’t even have the luxury of fouling Cousins in an effort to limit his scoring productivity, as he converted 13-of-16 free throw attempts.
The 56 points were the most by any Sacramento player, as Chris Webber held the previous record with a 51 point effort, which also came in an overtime loss.
Webber was the last Kings player to have the offensive arsenal Cousins possesses. Only Cousins has a more lethal 3-point shot.
For the year, Cousins is shooting 35 percent from beyond the arc, but during the month of January, he is converting over 46 percent of his attempts.
Along with his vastly improved long range jumper, Cousins is capable of facilitating the offense, pushing the ball up the court by himself, set up teammates with easy looks and score in a variety of ways.
Against Charlotte, he sank one shot from 3-point range, a single mid-range jumper and converted 19 shots in the paint.
The Hornets tried throwing a variety of defenders against Cousins, but couldn’t devise a consistent way to prevent him from scoring the ball.
Charlotte isn’t alone.
Cousins has been torching the league consistently and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight.