Tyreke Evans Continues Resurgence, Scores 26 In Memphis Grizzlies' 114-96 Road Win Over Sacramen
Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol looks to pass around Sacramento Kings forward Willie Cauley-Stein at Golden 1 Center. The Grizzlies won 114-96. Publicity Agents photo art by T. Ray Harvey. Dec. 31, 2017.
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Sacramento, Calif. —
When Tyreke Evans was traded last February from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Sacramento Kings in a deal that involved DeMarcus Cousins, the former NBA Rookie of the Year looked like a shell of himself.
The versatile shooting guard, sometimes point guard, was averaging 9.5 points, 3.5 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and nearly 20 minutes per game when he arrived in Sacramento, his second stint with the franchise.
Now as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies (12-25), Evans, 28, is back to playing as the player Sacramento once knew when he was selected by the Kings (12-24) with the fourth overall pick in the 2009 draft. Evans skills were on full display at Golden 1 Center on New Years’ Eve.
Evans, who has been under the knife a couple times to repair his right knee, had 26 points, seven rebounds, and five assists in the Grizzlies 114-96 win over the Kings. He made 10 of 16 shots from the field, including 5 of 7 baskets beyond the arc in nearly 26 minutes.
“He’s had that edge all year,” Grizzlies center Marc Gasol said of Evans, who is on a one-year deal at approximately $3 million. “He’s been having that same mentality. Don’t take it like he came in and hasn’t been doing this all year. He’s been doing it every game. He’s come with that aggressiveness, he’s shooting the ball tremendously, and it’s hard for teams to decide what they want to do on pick and rolls when it’s me and him.”
Publicity Agents OpticalVision. Footage by T. Ray Harvey
Sacramento head coach Dave Joerger talked about Evans before and after the game. Joerger said Evans was nothing but “a professional” in the 14 games he played in Sacramento, where he averaged 22.4 minutes per game.
“He was in a rhythm, man,” Joerger said. “He’s comfortable and was locked in. When he is able to make his jumper at ease he is difficult to guard.”
In Evans’ rookie campaign, he became the 2009-2010 Rookie of the Year and the fourth first-year player to average 20.1 points, 5.8 assists, and 5.3 rebounds per game. He’s the same class with Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Oscar Robertson.
Now he’s back in Mid-South where he starred for one year as a University of Memphis Tiger. As a pro for the Grizzlies, he averaging 19.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 30.8 minutes per game through 35 contests.
“He’s on a mission right now,” Memphis interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said of Evans. “It’s not a personal mission, which is the best part of it. He’s unselfish in what he’s doing. He’s helping our team in a multitude of ways. He’s playing for the team.”
The Kings have struggled through two bad losses since beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 109-95 on Dec. 27. The Memphis Grizzlies mounted a 33-point midway of the fourth quarter on New Year’s Eve. Willie Cauley-Stein came off the bench to lead the Kings with 21 points, eight rebounds, and two steals. Reserve Buddy Hield added 15 points, two assists, and one-blocked shot.
It’s the Kings second-straight season on New Year’s Eve of losing to the Grizzlies. Sacramento gave up 11 steals to Memphis on Sunday.
Kings coach Dave Joerger is 9 games from winning 200 games in the NBA. Joerger would be the 90th coach to reach the milestone in coaching, though two other coaches may arrive there quicker. Mike Budenholzer of the Atlanta Hawks currently has 199-career wins and Boston Celtics’ Brad Stevens has 195 under his belt. All three coaches began as head coaches five seasons ago.
Jarrell Martin had 11 points, two assists, and two steals for the Grizzlies on Sunday. James Ennis III, Wayne Selden, and Deyonta Davis each had 10 points in the victory over the Kings.
The Kings game was the first time Zach Randolph played against the Grizzlies after he led the franchise to seven-consecutive playoffs appearances. Randolph was also part of Memphis first postseason victory in 2011 and a trip to the 2013 Western Conference Finals. Randolph, averaging 15 points per game, had four points and six rebounds against his former team.
On The Marquee
Sacramento Kings: Host Charlotte Hornets on Jan. 2.
Memphis Grizzlies: on the road at Los Angeles Clippers Jan. 2.
By T. Ray Harvey | PA Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist
Twitter: Tony Ray Harvey @PublicityAgents
T. Ray (Antonio) Harvey is a Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist for Publicity Agents. Harvey is also the author of The HOMICIDAL HANDYMAN OF OAK PARK: MORRIS SOLOMON JR.