The Golden State Warriors did more than just fall victim to the biggest comeback in N.B.A. playoff history on Monday night. They also lost DeMarcus Cousins, their starting center, for the foreseeable future — and most likely for the rest of the postseason. A test on Tuesday revealed that he had torn a left quadriceps muscle in the first quarter of the Warriors’ 135-131 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.
Cousins, who had returned this season after tearing his left Achilles’ tendon in January 2018, underwent a magnetic resonance imaging examination that showed the tear, the Warriors announced. The team said Cousins would be out “indefinitely” and begin a course of rehabilitation.
Cousins, 28, sustained the injury when he tumbled to the court going for a loose ball early in Monday’s game. He immediately grabbed his left thigh, then limped to the locker room and did not return.
It was another devastating blow for Cousins, a four-time N.B.A. All-Star whose career has unraveled because of injuries. Last season, he was in line for a huge new contract when he tore his Achilles’ tendon while playing for the New Orleans Pelicans. He agreed to a modest one-year deal with the Warriors worth $5.3 million.
After spending the first half of the season rehabbing, Cousins returned to the court in January and gave the Warriors more depth in their pursuit of a third straight championship. He had been playing well, too, averaging 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds a game in 30 regular-season appearances.
After Cousins departed, the Warriors managed to build a 31-point lead against the Clippers — but then blew it, succumbing to Lou Williams (36 points, 11 assists) and Montrezl Harrell (25 points, 10 rebounds), who helped Los Angeles even the best-of-seven series at a game apiece.S