Pelicans clip Wizards _lowres

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ--New Orleans Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Tyreke Evans, as always when he plays in Memphis, was looking forward to Monday’s game. It’s the city and arena he played in during his one season of college ball at Memphis.

But during warmups, Evans experienced soreness in his right knee, so he was held out of the game.

The news came moments after Evans spoke about how he was looking forward to playing here.

“This is like a second home to me,” he said. “The fans are great, and it’s a college atmosphere. It’s always great to come back and see the fans. It really means a lot to be here, especially today with it being Martin Luther King Day. Plus it’s on ESPN, so everybody will be watching.”

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry lamented Evans’ loss.

“He is a guy who can obviously create plays and do some things our other guys can’t,” he said. “But he wasn’t able to go, so you have to go with what you have.”

Olympic team finalists

Anthony Davis is one of 30 finalists for the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team.

The 30 finalists were announced on Monday by USA Basketball for the games to be held in Rio de Janeiro.

Davis, who participated in the USA Basketball minicamp in August, played on the U.S. teams that captured gold at the 2012 Olympics in London and the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.

The 12-man roster will be announced later this year.

Davis would re-unite with former Pelicans coach Monty Williams, an assistant on the staff led by Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski.

The 30 finalists:

LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio)

Carmelo Anthony (New York)

Harrison Barnes (Golden State)

Bradley Beal (Washington)

Jimmy Butler (Chicago)

Mike Conley (Memphis)

DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento)

Stephen Curry (Golden State)

Anthony Davis (New Orleans)

DeMar DeRozan (Toronto)

Andre Drummond (Detroit)

Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City

Kenneth Faried (Denver)

Rudy Gay (Sacramento)

Paul George (Indiana)

Draymond Green (Golden State)

Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers)

James Harden (Houston)

Gordon Hayward (Utah)

Dwight Howard (Houston)

Andre Iguodala (Golden State)

Kyrie Irving (Cleveland)

LeBron James (Cleveland)

DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles)

Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio)

Kevin Love (Cleveland)

Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers)

Klay Thompson (Golden State)

John Wall (Washington)

Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City)

Rough start for Martin

Jarell Martin’s rookie season for the Memphis Grizzlies hasn’t gotten off to the start he was hoping for.

The Baton Rouge native, who played high school ball at Madison Prep before playing two seasons at LSU, was inactive for Monday’s game because of a bone bruise in his left foot.

It was his fifth straight game being declared inactive. He was also inactive from Oct. 28 to Dec. 11 recovering from surgery on his left foot.

Martin, the 25th pick of last year’s draft, didn’t make his season debut until Dec. 18 at Dallas.

“He played a couple games in pick-up in September and he’s had a couple practices, but he’s trying to come back from injury,” Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger said. “He has a great body, nice guy, so we’ll see. Hopefully he can continue to develop and improve and be an NBA player.”

Martin has played in two NBA games this season and also played four games in the D-League with the Iowa Energy. He recorded a double-double in one D-League game.