Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

December 16, 2009
Postgame reaction: It's all about Evans at the end

They're not title contenders, but the Kings matter, thanks to Tyreke Evans.

For fans that don't have the NBA League Pass, ESPN provided the rest of the country with a chance to see just what Evans could do.

Having committed a foul that could have eventually led to a loss, Evans didn't flinch with Gilbert Arenas looking to win the game for the Wizards.

"I just thought it was almost poetic to have it come down to a clear-out for Arenas and to have Tyreke (Evans) pick his pocket," said Kings coach Paul Westphal. "We've got a kind that's somebody in this league and it's really fun to see that and have the building rocking."

Evans had 26 points, six rebounds and six assists. And his confidence appears to be rubbing on teammates who already look to him to make plays late in games.

Evans said he didn't realize his foul of Arenas before the ball had been inbounded would give the Wizards a free throw and possession.

But after he forced Arenas into a turnover (Evans wasn't credited with a steal) Evans couldn't wait to shoot two free throws.

"That is something I dreamed, to get the ball in the end," Evans said. "I got the ball in my hands and made the free throws."

*Now for the Wizards point-of-view.

Here's what Washington coach Flip Saunders had to say about Evans defense on Arenas at the end of the game:

"He made a great play at the end, poiking the ball away and getting the steal. We got hurt because it was Gil's sixth foul so he took away our best three-point shooter. Then he goes and makes two free throws."

And you can add Arenas to the list of opposing players who are praising Evans:

"I like him. He's 6-6 and I think he's 220 pounds. Guards that come in that size as a rookie are like LeBron and D. Wade came in at that size. They're hard to guard. I'm considered a big guard in this league and going against Tyreke I felt little tonight. He has the poise of Brandon Roy when he came into the league. He plays at his own speed and never looked flustered out there. I think it's a great pickup for the Sacramento Kings."

*Arenas explained what happened on his final play when Evans forced a turnover:

"The whole night I never crossed over. The last play I figured he was going to think I was going to straight line him. I wanted to crossover to get back to Antawn Jamison's side so if (Andres) Nocioni tried to come over to take a charge, I was going to hit him with a quick bounce pass. If not, I was going to have a straight lay up going to the right."

*Kings center Spencer Hawes played a total of 3 minutes, 53 seconds as a reserve. He didn't enter the game until the third quarter.

Westphal said trying to deal with Antawn Jamison was the reason he started Omri Casspi at forward and Jason Thompson, not Hawes at center.

"Well the matchups would've been pretty tough," Westphal said. "We didn't want Jason or Spencer to have to chase Jamison around so we went with a different strategy and held him to 30. It was a matchup thing and I think we got good results from it."

Casspi had a career high with 22 points.

*The game ended up not being a sellout. But the announced crowd of 16,579 was as loud as any at Arco Arena this season.

--Jason Jones

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