DENVER -- Kings coach Michael Malone has been looking for more players who wouldn’t assess their performance on scoring.
In Reggie Evans, Malone has such a player.
Evans made his Kings debut Sunday during Sacramento’s 109-95 win over the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center.
Evans was active for Saturday’s win over Boston but did not play. He was acquired along with Jason Terry on Wednesday from Brooklyn in exchange for guard Marcus Thornton.
Evans played eight minutes in the second quarter. He grabbed five rebounds and had a steal.
The Nuggets were poised to blow out the Kings in the second quarter, but Evans energized the team without scoring as the Kings cut a 13-point deficit to four by halftime.
Evans said his intent was to set a tone and let the Kings know it was time to pick up their intensity.
“Denver had a nice little run, they’re at home and they haven’t been doing too good,” Evans said. “Just to be out there and let these young fellas know the game ain’t over with. Just try to get some stops and also let them know to be ready at any time.”
Evans was the Kings’ only reserve with a positive plus/minus rating at plus-5.
Malone said Evans was a big reason for the win.
“I thought his minutes in the first half were terrific,” Malone said. “He comes in and gets five rebounds, brings a very physical presence out there and I thought his minutes were very productive off the bench.”
Bigger backcourt – One of the lineup experiments Malone is using lately is 6-foot-9 Travis Outlaw at backup shooting guard since Thornton was traded.
Before this season, Outlaw played either small or power forward.
Outlaw said before Malone asked him to play guard early in the season, he’d played guard “maybe once or twice” in his NBA career.
“You’ve got to be in a little better shape than playing the other two (positions),” Outlaw said. “There’s a lot more running.”
Malone likes the idea of having more size in the backcourt and using Outlaw against stronger guards instead of rookie Ben McLemore.
Outlaw started at guard on Feb. 7 in Boston to match up with Gerald Wallace. He had 18 points off the bench Wednesday against Golden State.
Outlaw said he doesn’t mind playing guard because it’s better than the alternative – not playing at all.
“I love playing,” Outlaw said.