SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Tyreke Evans made a memorable return, scoring a season-high 25 points and adding 12 assists to help the New Orleans Pelicans snap a four-game losing streak with a 113-97 win over the Kings on Monday night.
The Pelicans pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Kings 36-23 to salvage their only victory on a five-game road trip. Evans was a major factor in the second half, scoring 13 points.
DeMarcus Cousins had 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Kings, who committed 22 turnovers in losing for the sixth time in eight games. Isaiah Thomas had 21 points and former LSU star Marcus Thornton had 19. Rudy Gay made 2-of -12 shots and scored 11 points.
Anthony Davis had 21 points and 11 rebounds for New Orleans. Jrue Holiday had 17 points and 10 assists, and Eric Gordon also had 17 points.
Ryan Anderson, who grew up in the Sacramento region, had a difficult evening trying to contain Cousins at the defensive end.
Anderson went to the bench with five fouls at the 8:17 mark in the fourth quarter.
The Pelicans’ leading scorer missed 3 of 9 shots and had eight points.
Utilizing his usual slashing style of play, Evans made 7 of 14 shots and hit 11 of 12 free throws in a reserve role.
Evans won the rookie of the year award with the Kings in 2009-10 and averaged 17.5 points in his four seasons with the Kings. He joined the Pelicans in the offseason as part of a three-team trade and subsequently signed a four-year, $44 million contract.
Shaquille O’Neal sat courtside next to Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive and Hall of Fame player Chris Mullin, who works in an advisory role with the team and frequently attends home games. O’Neal is one of Sacramento’s minority owners. ... Pelicans starting center Jason Smith missed his second consecutive game with a bruised bone in his right knee. Smith, who is on the inactive list, had started the team’s first 24 games. ... Cousins had it going early for the Kings, getting 12 points and seven rebounds in the first quarter . . Alexis Ajinca played 13 minutes and fouled out in the fourth quarter.