Well, that was pretty much what you expected right? Kevin Martin returns to Arco and blasts the Kings for 39 points, Tyreke Evans clinches the 20/5/5 mark in the final game of the season at Arco, and while the Kings gritted it out, they end up folding late. Pretty much the season wrapped into one game. But alas, despite what many might say, their goal for the evening was to get Tyreke his 20/5/5 record at home and win the game second.
Evans opened up the game on fire and ended the first half with 22 points. He had his chances to get the 20/5/5 statistic clinched by halftime, but, the Kings had some sloppy possessions and Evans missed a few shots. Out of halftime, it was obvious the Kings were trying to force feed the situation as well as some major adjustments by the Rockets which resulted in Evans missing 10 straight opportunities at one time before he finally clinched the statistical masterpiece at the free throw line.
The Kings, who looked quite distracted by the Evans hoopla, the final home game of the season, and the return of Martin played well for the majority of the game but folded late and simply got into too many one on one competitions not to mention become incredibly sloppy with the ball. The loss dropped the Kings to 18-23 on the road with one final game remaining in Los Angeles tonight.
As for Evans, there isn’t much you can say. Statistically, he’s in rarefied air. He has now joined an elite group of players (four, to be exact) who’ve accomplished the 20 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds average for an entire season as a rookie. The other players include Lebron James, Michael Jordan, and Oscar Robertson, who nearly averaged a triple double his rookie season.
Evans is also only one of three players to average 20/5/5 this season – the other two? Kobe Bryant and Lebron James.
Tyreke told Sam Amick after the game that the final two points needed to clinch the statistical record were the hardest two points of his life to get, and it was obvious in the game as Evans (who is a lay-up machine) had balls touch every inch of the rim before rolling out multiple times.
And although the Kings still have one game remaining tonight, last night seemed like a fond farewell to a historic rookie season for the Kings future (and pretty much current) franchise cornerstone.