Fortunately for the Kings, they didn’t need much help from Evans to beat their next opponent, the Washington Wizards, earlier this season.
With the status of its leading scorer uncertain, Sacramento will try to snap a 10-game road losing streak and end a five-game slide at the Verizon Center on Tuesday night.
Evans was in a walking boot during practice Saturday because of a sprained left ankle and sat out a 118-112 loss to Toronto the next day. Beno Udrih(notes) tried to make up for his absence with 25 points, his second-best scoring performance of the season.
Carl Landry(notes) matched a season high with 22 points, and DeMarcus Cousins(notes) and Jason Thompson(notes) each posted double-doubles. The Kings (8-26), though, couldn’t fend off a fourth-quarter surge from the Raptors without Evans, who totaled 56 points and 20 assists in the previous two games.
“Tyreke makes a lot of things happen, especially scoring-wise,” said Cousins, averaging 21.2 points over the last six games. “He draws so much attention, he’s kicking it out and dishing, so he makes the game a lot easier for other players.”
Evans has dealt with nagging foot problems all season but had missed one previous game due to injury. He sat out a loss at Houston on Dec. 14 with plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
“I’m hopeful but I’m not really expecting him to be able to play (Tuesday),” coach Paul Westphal said. “We’ll see how he feels and maybe he’ll be able to go.”
Westphal got only eight points from Evans on Dec. 8, but his team beat the Wizards 116-91 as Udrih’s 23 points led six Kings in double figures.
Sacramento, though, hasn’t won in Washington since Feb. 27, 2005, and will face a Wizards team that’s 3-2 at home since a season-high, three-game skid there.
Washington (9-26) routed New Jersey 97-77 at the Verizon Center on Friday night but dropped to 0-18 away from home with a 104-89 defeat to Charlotte the next evening.
“We have to start getting some consistency, or we have to get some other players to play in there,” coach Flip Saunders said. “It’s like we didn’t play with a purpose at times.”
The Wizards will attempt to win consecutive home games for the second time this season, while the Kings will try to avoid moving closer to matching their longest road losing streak of last season, 11 games from Jan. 1-Feb. 7.
After losing eight in a row to Washington, Sacramento has won two of three meetings since the beginning of last season.