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The best seat for Super Bowl LII needs a “Season Ticket”

NEW ORLEANS — DeMarcus Cousins had 15 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists before seriously injuring his left Achilles’ as the New Orleans Pelicans survived a furious Houston rally for a 115-113 victory on Friday night.

A person familiar with the situation said an MRI confirmed an Achilles’ tear, ending Cousins’s season a little more than a week after he was voted an All-Star starter.

The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Pelicans have not yet announced the imaging results.

The injury, which occurred as Cousins pursued a missed free throw with 12 seconds left in the game, all but squelched the jubilation from a team and its fans, who otherwise would have been celebrating a fourth straight victory and seventh in eight games.


‘‘We were just figuring everything out. That’s the tough part,’’ said teammate Anthony Davis, who scored 27 points in the win. ‘‘We’ve got to keep going and just keep finding a way to win.

‘‘We’ve got enough guys in here who are professionals who are always ready when their number’s called, so we’ve got to make sure that we stay locked in.’’

Jrue Holiday scored 21 points and unconventionally sealed the victory by purposefully missing a free throw with 1.8 seconds left, causing time to run out as players fought for the rebound.

‘‘Right now, just praying everything’s OK [with Cousins],” Holiday said, adding that it made the win victory ‘‘bittersweet.’’

‘‘Just unfortunate, really. I think we’ve been doing really well, got in a great groove,’’ Holiday added, noting that Cousins’s triple-double against Houston was his second in three games. ‘‘The way we’ve been playing, and him in particular, has been awesome.’’

Darius Miller hit six 3-pointers, including one with 1:52 left to give the Pelicans a 5-point lead, and finished with 20 points.


Chris Paul scored a season-high 38 points before fouling out in the final seconds and nearly led Houston back from a 21-point, third-quarter deficit. James Harden had 23 points and 11 assists, and Eric Gordon scored 27 points.

Houston tied it at 104 on Luc Mbah a Moute’s layup with 2:34 to go. And the game was tied once more at 109 on Trevor Ariza’s 3 with 1:17 to go before Holiday’s driving floater and Cousins’s putback gave New Orleans the lead for good.

The Rockets’ comeback bid began after Miller’s 3 gave the Pelicans an 81-60 lead with 5:54 left in the quarter.

Houston turned the tide with a 20-6 run, during which Paul scored 10 on two 3s, a layup, and two free throws.

Early in the fourth quarter, Paul sneaked in behind Cousins to steal an inbound pass to set up his breakaway layup as he was fouled, trimming New Orleans lead to 96-92.

However, Paul committed his fifth foul with 7:29 left, and went to the bench for more than three minutes, during which the Pelicans’ lead crept back to 8.

Paul returned with four minutes left and the Rockets scored the next e8 ight points to tie it.

Davis dominated early, scoring 16 points in the first quarter, and the Pelicans pushed ahead in a lopsided second quarter in which they hit 14 of 20 shots.

New Orleans took its first double-digit lead when Miller’s 3 made it 51-40. Davis’ third alley-oop dunk of the game put the Pelicans up 13 and his free throws one possession later gave the Pelicans a 15-point lead.


Harden’s short jumper cut it to 66-53 at halftime.

Harden, who missed 8 of 9 3-point attempts, moved into second in Rockets history in assists with 3,347, passing Allen Leavell’s 3,339.