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Reliving Evans’ triple-double night

Posted by rc360 on March 11, 2010

Wednesday night was Tyreke Evans’ night at ARCO Arena.

The Sacramento Kings rookie guard had limited-edition T-shirts and printouts of his face on sticks handed out on a night that was used to promote his rookie of the year campaign.

His choice of music was played during warm-ups before the game. There was a special introduction, which included pyrotechnics and a banner rising in honor of his night, for him. An announced crowd of 13,412 was introduced to the rookie of the year chant, “R-O-Y.”

By the end of the game, RekeROY night was more than a success. It sealed the award for him.

Evans, the frontrunner for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award, notched his first career triple-double with an assist to Francisco García late in the fourth quarter. He finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a 113-90 blowout win over the Toronto Raptors.

His memorable night also bumped his stats over 20 points, five rebounds and five assists per game – stats only LeBron James and hall-of-famers Oscar Robertson and Michael Jordan averaged as rookies.  Evans is currently averaging 20.3 points, five rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.

After receiving a standing ovation from the fans, he said it was all for them.

“I had a lot of fun,” Evans said. “I came out in attack mode, and the crowd was in it. I wanted to come out and have a good night with them honoring me.”

Evans had a hot start to the game, grabbing four rebounds in the first quarter. Going into the game, he was averaging 4.9 rebounds per game.

On a drive to the basket, he had an unbelievable shot over the backboard after getting fouled by Toronto’s superstar power forward Chris Bosh.  The basket was originally waved off, but after a brief meeting they counted Evans’ circus shot.

The R-O-Y chants gave him even more motivation after the Kings’ slow start in the first half.

“They chanted every five seconds. I just started laughing,” he said. “It gave me confidence in the second half.”

Evans said he was a little embarrassed due to the fact that he was the center of attention for the entire night, on and off the court.

“They had the NBA all-stars talk about my game,” he said about the videos shown on the JumboTron. “I had fun looking up at myself. (The fans) had little sticks with my face.”

Another feature on the JumboTron was Mystery Karaoke, where Evans would sing a song, and teammate Beno Udrih would guess it. Both were busy watching it during the time-out.

Evans knew he was close to a triple-double near the end of the game, and he went to García to help him secure it.

“He told me to look for him off the curl,” Evans said about the play that gave him the triple-double. “He did it a lot in practice, so I went for him. Hopefully he’d make the shot, and he did.”

Kings Head Coach Paul Westphal said that he and the rest of the Kings players enjoyed RekeROY night.

“It was really exciting to see Tyreke have such a fitting night,” Westphal said. “There are a lot of (good) rookies this year. For this year, it’s not even close (for the rookie of the year award).”

Raptors forward and former Kings rookie Hedo Turkoglu also gave Evans praise after the game.

“The kid is going to be a great player in this league,” Turkoglu said about Evans. “Already he’s making a huge impact as a player and a leader. I wish him the best, and hopefully he becomes one of the greats.”

Evans had two near-triple-double games earlier in the season. After rookie point guards Stephen Curry and Darren Collison for the Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Hornets, respectively, had triple-doubles of their own, LaMont Peterson, Evans’ trainer, said it best.

“It’s long overdue,” he said.

Click here to read the story on Sacramento Press.


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