DeMarcus Cousins earned praise from all quarters as he dominated Nikola Jokic in the Golden State Warriors' 116-102 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday.
Dangerman Jokic was limited to 10 points, five rebounds and six assists as the Nuggets lost ground in the race for the number one seed in the Western Conference.
Cousins' close attention restricted Jokic's influence at Oracle Arena, leading to coach Steve Kerr and star man Stephen Curry to hail a performance that yielded 28 points and 13 rebounds.
"DeMarcus was fantastic," Kerr told reporters. "He's really playing at a high level for us.
"I really liked the way we played defensively and DeMarcus had a big hand in that.
"Just his physicality with Jokic and the way he attacked offensively, I thought it was one of his best games of the year for us."
Two-time NBA MVP Curry added: "He wants to let people know that he's still DeMarcus Cousins and he can dominate a game.
"Tonight was another example of that, just taking on that one-on-one challenge [with Jokic] on both ends of the floor and dominating."
FinalDeMarcus - 28p/12r/5a/2b/2s— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) April 3, 2019
KD - 21p/3r/6a/2b
Steph - 17p/5r/5a/3s
Klay - 13p/4r/1s
Kevon - 10p/5r/2s/2b
Draymond - 6p/9r/9a/2b/1s
Jonas - 6p
Alfonzo - 5p/5r/1s
Quinn - 4p/3r/2a
Andrew - 4p/3r
Andre - 4r/4a/2b/1s
Shaun - 2p/1b pic.twitter.com/tOFfaPJDBy
While happy with his team's defensive display, Kerr still felt there were areas they can improve as they close in on top spot in the West ahead of the playoffs.
"The two keys we talked about were take care of the ball and don't give them offensive rebounds," he said.
"We obviously didn't do a very good job of the first one – that's where we've got to get better. We can't have those turnovers, some of them were just mindless.
"We've got to be able to play with a sense of purpose that the ball is gold, the ball is everything.
"But I think what happened was that we were playing with so much energy, [we were] a little too excited, a little ahead of ourselves at times.
"The turnovers were the one downside of the game, but after that first six to eight minutes, maybe the whole first quarter, we did a better job on keeping them off the glass."Published 03 Apr 2019, 14:48 IST