The Kings’ Tyreke Evans scored 24 points last night in a home loss to Houston, making the Sacramento G just the 4th player in NBA history to average 20 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds in his rookie campaign. The other 3? Just a trio of scrubs named Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan and LeBron James. Of the hosts efforts to make the night all about Evans’ quest for said individual mark, the Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen declares, “they should be ashamed.”
Evans kept driving to impossible shots, missing one after another. With Kings fans on their feet and the volume on the beat cranked up, he ended the first half missing three straight as the Rockets cut the lead to five.
With the crowd again choosing the Kings offense, he missed five more and charged into Trevor Ariza as the Rockets took the lead. He finally made two free throws to get his 24 points and received a standing ovation, followed by another when the announcement, that was by then unnecessary was made. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger joined the long ovation.
“I didn’t even know what was going on,” Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. “Finally, they put the 20, 5, 5 up there (on the scoreboard.) I’m more than happy to let him take that. We’ll take the win and go home.”
Evans probably would have secured the achievement whether he was permitted to chase it or not. With a player that talented and that crucial to a franchise’s future, the game should have been about winning the game and nothing else. Instead, the Kings demonstrated that individual achievement sometimes matters more than winning. Naturally then, the Kings lost the game and maybe more.