Tyreke Evans’ Shameless Pursuit of a Milestone

by April 13, 2010

Anyone who watched the Kings/Rockets game last night understood immediately that it was all about 20-5-5 for ‘Reke, as far as Sacramento was concerned anyway. Following the game, the Houston Chronicle was less than amused: “They should be ashamed. Instead, they celebrated. That was a farce, an insult to the game. The Kings loved it. Tyreke Evans is a wonderful talent. He has my rookie of the year vote. The statistical achievement he secured on Monday is remarkable and will not be his last. The Kings, however, made the game about a statistic. Evans needed 24 points to guarantee that he would finish the season as just the fourth rookie — joining Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan and LeBron James — to average 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. When he got to 22 points, everything was about that goal. He 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. The two free throws were his only points in the second half. The Rockets, meanwhile, pushed their lead to 10 with three minutes left. The Kings had gone from a 14-point lead to a 10-point loss. It was their 10th loss in 11 games. And they celebrated it happily. ‘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.”‘