• New Orleans center DeMarcus Cousins delivered 41 points, 23 rebounds and six assists in his much-anticipated return to Sacramento, where he played nearly seven seasons. His team won without fellow star Anthony Davis, too, coming back from 19 down to win 114-106 Thursday. Nobody had reached 41 points, 23 rebounds and six assists in a game since Joe Barry Carroll in 1987.
“It was beautiful, man,” Cousins told TNT afterward. “A lot of people who know me know I was nervous as hell. I’m thankful for the years I had in this city. The city and the fans were great to me. I enjoyed my time here. At the end of the day, it’s nothing but love.”
• The Timberwolves last week took their first look at the Detroit Pistons’ new home, the $863 million Little Caesars Arena built for the NHL’s Red Wings. Veteran Wolves might miss the suburban Palace of Auburn Hills because of so many memorable games played there. But they won’t miss its visitors’ locker room.
“It was all of 30 square feet,” center Cole Aldrich said, embellishing just a touch. “The only one that might have been smaller was the old one at Madison Square Garden.”
• Ten years ago Tuesday, Wolves center Al Jefferson fought his way against a departing Target Center heavy metal concert crowd to sign at the deadline a life-changing $65 million contract. He was 22 then. He’s 32 now and is with his fifth NBA team in Indiana. He shrugged last week when asked if he still wonders what might have been if he and Kevin Love spent a career together.
“That was so long ago,” he said. “When you’re in this business as long as I’ve been, a lot of things happen and change over the years. You can sit there and say if KG [Kevin Garnett] didn’t decide to come to Boston, I could have been there with Paul [Pierce] and Ray Allen, could have won a championship. Everything happens for a reason. Kevin had a hell of a career, and I’ve done well for myself after leaving here. It all happened for the best.”