It was a full-blown team effort by the Sacramento Kings against the Lakers on Wednesday, but Tyreke Evans distinguished himself. A man looking in the mirror, he pulled out one of his best performances to date.
18 points, on 7 of 11 shooting, 4 out of 4 free throws, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds
Behind him, his Rookie of the Year performance, squarely in front, his future legacy as an NBA player. But Wednesday night, Tyreke was in the moment on the
battlefield court with NBA’s legend, in an age-old battle for dominance.
No longer the rook of three years ago, Tyreke emerged from the darkness of a five-game season losing streak, as the knight in battle with the aging king, known as Kobe.
Despite the weight of heavy external pressure, for all who watched, Tyreke looked like a kid having fun on the playground, smiling as he and his team twisted the arm behind the back of the Lakers. He didn’t display the grimace of a player in a daunting battle with sweat running down his face, struggling to catch his breath. No signs of that. He looked more like the kid taunting another, knowing full well he had the upper hand. Kobe Bryant responded in typical Kobe fashion, in desperation, when he senses imminent danger of losing.
No matter how many points Kobe would put up, and he ended up with an impressive 38, nor how many of the starstruck mesmerized official’s calls would go his way, Tyreke was the one who would conjure up Ares, the Greek god of war, to seize victory from him.
There will be other games, future contests between the Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Lakers, but for now, Tyreke and the rest of his team have a victory to savor.