Now, the potential rookie of the year’s season could be in jeopardy.
Evans will not play Sunday as the Kings try to avoid a third straight loss when they visit the Los Angeles Clippers.
Sacramento (23-46) has the third-worst record in the Western Conference and has dropped 12 of 17, but it’s optimistic about the future with Evans—who leads all rookies with 20.3 points per game—as the key piece it wants to build the franchise around.
Evans’ current season, though, is in doubt after he took an inadvertent elbow to the head late in regulation of a 114-108 double-overtime loss to Milwaukee on Friday. Evans was left with a concussion, lacerated gums and a chipped tooth. He did not play in either overtime period.
Kings officials said Evans might have a fractured jaw, which would likely end his season.
“There will be more tests (Saturday),” coach Paul Westphal said. “He obviously isn’t going with us to L.A. We have no idea how long he’ll be out or how serious the injury is until the doctors are able to examine him with all the equipment they have.”
Evans’ injury comes as Sacramento begins a stretch of six of its next seven on the road, where the Kings are 6-28. With Evans out and Kevin Martin(notes) traded to Houston, Sacramento will likely rely more on Beno Udrih(notes). The sixth-year point guard, averaging 12.4 points, scored a season-high 26 on Friday.
Evans won’t be missed by his next opponent. He averaged 21.5 points as Sacramento split two games against the Clippers (26-43). The Kings won 97-92 on Feb. 28 in the most recent meeting.
Los Angeles snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 101-93 victory over Milwaukee on Wednesday. The Clippers shot 53.1 percent and had six players score in double figures. Chris Kaman(notes) had 20 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots.
It was the first time in nine games Los Angeles held an opponent to fewer than 100 points. The Clippers opened the fourth quarter on a 14-2 run after being outscored 31-20 in the third.
“We fought back - it was mental toughness,” forward Drew Gooden(notes) said. “We can’t let games go downhill after having a strong lead. We were able to fight throughout and got the lead back and finished strong.”
Kaman went 8 of 13 from the field after totaling 14 points while shooting 25.0 percent (6 for 24) in his previous two games. He’s averaging 20.0 points and 13.5 rebounds against Sacramento this season.
The Clippers have won four of five at home against the Kings.