Evans, Kings bounce back to beat Jazz
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Uncertain of his offensive role earlier this season, Tyreke Evans has reverted to what he does best: attacking the basket.
Evans supplied offense in critical times for the Kings on Saturday, scoring 21 of his 27 points in the second half, helping slumping Sacramento beat the Utah Jazz 108-97.
Resembling the attacking guard who won Rookie of the Year honors in the 2009-10 season, Evans has averaged 21 points in the last four games. Perhaps it's no coincidence that the Kings have scored 100 points or more and shot over 50 percent in three straight games, two of them victories.
"We've been aggressive, just trying to attack," Evans said. "If I miss one shot, I'm (still) trusting my shot. I've been coming here after the games and before games just to get extra shots up and it's working for me."
Evans got to the basket and even made a few outside shots. He made 9 of 17 shots and converted all nine free throws. He also added five rebounds, five assists and two steals for the Kings, who shot 54 percent.
"He (Evans) is a tough cover and a big body that can put the ball on the floor and handle it," Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said. "He got the best of us tonight."
The Jazz got the best of the Kings in a Friday night game in Utah. Sacramento squandered a 13-point, fourth-quarter lead in a two-point loss, but this time held on to win for only the second time in eight games.
"It left a bad taste knowing how we lost last night," said Aaron Brooks, who made three 3-pointers and scored 13 points in the rematch. "We were in the same position tonight with the lead in the fourth quarter. We attacked the basket and played good defense. It was good to play again tonight after what happened Friday. I would hate to be waiting two days to play again."
Jason Thompson had 16 points and nine rebounds for Sacramento, which outscored the Jazz 56-41 in the second half. Sacramento committed 12 first-half turnovers, but had just two after intermission.
The Kings won the game despite losing center DeMarcus Cousins, the team's leading scorer and rebounder. The demonstrative Cousins was ejected with 1:35 left in the third quarter after arguing over a foul he committed against Enes Kanter. Cousins and Carmelo Anthony both have a league-leading five technical fouls this season. Cousins had 14 points and nine rebounds in 29 minutes against the Jazz.
"We are communicating with him, doing everything we can," Kings coach Keith Smart said. "Some guys just have it like that and sometimes it takes a while, the person grows out of the situation. We can't kick the guy to the curb because he doesn't have any hope. There may be some other people that give up hope, but not me."
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