LAS VEGAS If Kings coach Keith Smart had a whistle during Friday night's preseason game, he would have blown it at least once during the fourth quarter in reaction to Tyreke Evans passing on a three-point shot.
Evans spent the offseason working on his perimeter game, but he is still hesitant at times to shoot jumpers in preseason games.
"In practice, I blow a whistle when he doesn't take the shot," Smart said. "I can't do it out here, but he has to take it."
Evans eventually shot and made a three with 3:13 to play in the Kings' 103-98 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Evans made one of his two threes to finish with 14 points as a reserve.
Evans has attempted seven three-pointers during the preseason, making two. The one thing Smart doesn't want Evans to be is reluctant to shoot jump shots.
"There's no question that he has to take that shot because he's trying to make that basket," Smart said.
Smart has joked he could play Evans at center if he refuses to shoot from the peri- meter. And teams will continue to dare Evans to shoot, hoping he opts to drive into a set defense.
Evans realizes he needs to be more assertive when given open looks.
"It's preseason," Evans said. "I don't know why I'm not shooting them. That's the best time to shoot it. I'm going to just keep shooting as much as I can when I get open, just try to be aggressive when the season starts."
As Smart tinkers with lineups he wants to see in game situations, Evans was paired with second-year guard Jimmer Fredette off the bench instead of veteran Aaron Brooks, who did not play.
Fredette also had 14 points. Both took nine shots and made five. "We use different lineups in practice everyday and coach just wants to try them out," said Fredette, who thought they worked well together.
Smart said Fredette played under control against the Lakers. "I kept (Fredette) in our motion offense to where the ball can get back in his hand," Smart said. "He had some setbacks in some earlier game, but he's made a big improvement."
The Kings will play the Lakers twice in their final three preseason games. Though they are preseason games, the Lakers figure to provide an ample challenge in testing how far the Kings have come in learning their offensive and defensive principles.
That job could be tougher Sunday. The Lakers only had one of their new All Stars guard Steve Nash Friday night. Lakers coach Mike Brown told ESPN Radio 710 All-Star center Dwight Howard could make his Lakers debut Sunday when the Lakers host the Kings in Los Angeles.
"(Saturday) we'll have a practice; they (the Lakers' medical staff) will re-evaluate him," Brown said. "Sunday, we'll have a shootaround, they'll re-evaluate him, and if he's ready to go, he'll go that night."
Kings center DeMarcus Cousins welcomes the chance to play against Howard.
"It's always fun playing Dwight," Cousins said.
Cousins had a spirited battle with Lakers big man Pau Gasol on Friday night. Cousins had 18 points, 10 rebounds, an assist and three steals. Gasol finished with 20 points, six rebounds and two assists.
Chuck Hayes left the game in the fourth quarter with a laceration under his lip and had to receive stitches.