SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Reggie Evans led the Sacramento Kings in a crucial category Monday night: hustle.
Evans supplied plenty of spirit to go along with DeMarcus Cousins' 23 points and 12 rebounds in a 96-89 victory over the slumping New Orleans Pelicans.
A veteran forward in his 12th season, Evans had 10 points and 13 rebounds. But his real value was his usual aggressive play on a night when the Kings weren't too energetic during a lackluster first half. Still, they outrebounded New Orleans 47-30 in halting a three-game losing streak.
"Reggie Evans' effort was inspiring," Kings coach Michael Malone said. "I don't care where he's playing or who he is playing with, he's going to bring great effort every minute that he's on the floor. He makes things happen out there. He plays great defense and he has great activity. My hope is it becomes contagious."
Evans started the season with the Brooklyn Nets and came to Sacramento following a Feb. 19 trade. His points, rebounds and minutes (30) were all season highs with the struggling Kings, who are tied with the Lakers and Jazz for the worst record (21-39) in the Western Conference.
"I have an attitude of never quitting and always going hard," said Evans, who made five of seven shots and grabbed five offensive rebounds. "That's the main thing."
Tyreke Evans scored 14 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and added 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Pelicans, who have dropped eight straight and 10 of 11. Brian Roberts scored 15 points and Eric Gordon fouled out in the fourth quarter with 10.
"We couldn't get it back and couldn't get a rebound tonight," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. "Reggie Evans basically controlled the boards out there with his energy. It's just another tough loss. It's the same old song. We had the game in our grasp, we were up five or six, then in a 2½-minute stretch we go from being up five or six, and then we're down by nine."
New Orleans All-Star forward Anthony Davis shot 4 of 14 and had 13 points. He missed his first 10 shots before making his first basket, a step-back 10-footer over Cousins, at the 9:10 mark in the third quarter.