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Evans hits game winner, propels Kings to 102-100 victory

Posted by rc360 on January 10, 2010

After blowing an 18-point lead and losing by seven points to the Golden State Warriors the previous night in Oakland, the Sacramento Kings made a comeback against the Denver Nuggets.

In the last few moments, Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups tied the game with a three-point field goal but Kings rookie guard Tyreke Evans made the game-winning field goal with 0.7 seconds left. The basket lifted his team to a 102-100 victory and put a stop to a five-game losing streak.

Evans scored a game-high 27 points while fellow rookie Jon Brockman posted five points, a block and a career-high 12 rebounds in his first NBA start while defending against Kenyon Martin. Brockman is no stranger to Martin with a previous Nuggets defeat on Dec. 28.

“It’s a challenge,” Brockman said about defending Martin, the former all-star power forward. “He’s an unbelievably athletic player, he’s got a great touch, he’s a fun guy to play against.”

Martin finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two blocks while Billups finished with 27 points, shooting 40 percent from the field.

Billups missed the previous match-up against the Kings, but this time the Nuggets were playing without Carmelo Anthony, one of the NBA’s leading scorers with 30 points per game.

Billups said he wants Anthony back on the court.

“He’s the number one (scoring) option,” Billups said about Anthony. “He does everything. I think teams play us differently when he’s not playing because they know that they don’t have (to guard) that one guy who can score 30, 40 points at any given time. It’s a difference when you’re playing without him.”

The Kings trailed the Nuggets by as much as 13 points during the game, but the team found a way to win by learning from mistakes it made the night before.

“I just thought it was really interesting and gratifying how our players performed in the fourth quarter,” Kings Head Coach Paul Westphal said. “Everything we did wrong last night, we corrected.”

Despite shooting less than 36 percent from the field, rookie swingman Omri Casspi came up big for the Kings with 16 points, eight rebounds and a block, including a three-point field goal to give the Kings a 96-95 lead with 1:04 remaining.

“We lost a lot of other (close) games,” Casspi said. “We’re 15-21 now and it could easily be (the) opposite. I’m just happy that we won.”

After the Kings face the Orlando Magic Tuesday, the team will leave for its longest road trip of the season, playing six games in nine nights. Every one of those games will be against an Eastern Conference opponent.

Click here to read the story on Sacramento Press.

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