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Tyreke Tuesdays: Evans cools off before getting injured

Posted by rc360 on March 23, 2010

Tyreke Evans #13 of the Sacramento Kings is guarded by Shannon Brown #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers on March 16, 2010 at Arco Arena. (SacPress Photo/Nathan Carter)

Kings rookie guard Tyreke Evans was playing the best basketball of his rookie season, but his it took a bad turn during last Friday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Late in the fourth quarter, Evans was hit by Ersan Ilyasova while he was swinging his elbows. As a result, Evans sustained a slight concussion, a bruised jaw and two cracked teeth. A fractured jaw was feared to be the diagnosis, and it would have been a horrible end to his spectacular first season in the NBA.

He’ll miss at least a week, which includes games against the Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, New Jersey Nets and possibly the Boston Celtics.

In the last two games played until his injury, Evans chalked up 20 points, 7.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists and one steal.

In last Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Evans played against two of the toughest defenders in the league. In a recent poll of 173 NBA players by “Sports Illustrated,” Lakers teammates Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest were named as top defenders.

Both of them took turns defending Evans. Both of them couldn’t stop him from notching 25 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists – one assist shy of a triple-double. The Kings lost to the Lakers 106-99.

Bryant was asked about whether Evans or Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry was tougher to play against. He was impressed by Evans’ physique.

“I think Tyreke is a grown man,” he said after the game.

In the game against the Bucks, Evans had 15 points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals and a career-high eight turnovers before getting injured late in the fourth quarter. The game went into double overtime, where the Kings lost 114-108.

In the two games without Evans, the Kings beat the Clippers on Sunday in Los Angeles 102-89 and, the very next night lost at home to the Grizzlies 102-85.

Injuries are nothing new to Evans. He’s already missed seven games this season and at least the next game. None of his previous injuries have seemed to slow him down.

Evans is still chasing a milestone, trying to become only the fourth rookie to average 20 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Technically, he could sit out the rest of the season and achieve it. If he were to come back Sunday at Cleveland against LeBron James and the Cavaliers, Evans would need to score at least 164 points, grab 34 rebounds and collect only six assists to achieve what only James, Michael Jordan and Oscar Robertson have done as rookies.

For now, he just needs to rest and prepare to return to the court when he’s ready to finish the season.

Click here to read the story on Sacramento Press.

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