Pelicans stand pat with starting lineup, lose late lead to Clippers _lowres

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans puts up a shot against Clippers forward Wesley Johnson on New Year's Eve in the Smoothie King Center. Evans went to team trainers complaining of pain in his right knee Saturday.

Something didn’t feel right to Tyreke Evans.

So Saturday in Dallas, the Pelicans point guard went to team trainers, complaining of a pain in his right knee.

Because it’s the same knee on which Evans underwent arthroscopic surgery in October, the medical staff “just wanted to be cautious,” Evans said.

So Evans, who missed the first 17 games of the season recovering from surgery, sat out the Pelicans’ win against the Mavericks. Whether he’ll be ready to go when the Pelicans host Dallas on Wednesday was unclear as of Monday.

“I didn’t really do too much moving today,” Evans said after Monday’s practice. “I’m just taking it day-to-day, see how I feel.”

There was “no reason” to have Evans practice Monday, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said, and New Orleans “may or may not practice him” on Tuesday. But Gentry was optimistic the 6-foot-6 guard would be ready to play against the Mavericks on Wednesday.

“I’m treating the heck out of it with (trainer) Duane (Brooks) and the training staff,” Evans said. “We’ll see how it goes from there.”

Finishing move

Rather than insert Jrue Holiday into the starting lineup when Evans couldn’t play Saturday, Gentry opted to go with Norris Cole, leaving Holiday in the bench role in which he’s excelled recently.

Since moving into a reserve role on Dec. 4, Holiday is averaging 15.1 points and 4.3 assists per game, shooting 49.2 percent from the floor and 46.9 percent from 3-point range.

Holiday was fine with Gentry’s decision not to interrupt his groove.

“I don’t care about starting,” Holiday said. “I’m going to play the same way, whether I start or don’t start. I would love to be in the game at the end of the game. I think with the rhythm that we have going — me coming off the bench and helping out that way and then I get to finish the game — is great.”

Clarification, please

When the Pelicans host the Mavericks on Wednesday, they’ll look to replicate a strong effort in Dallas.

That includes their defense on Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki, who scored 24 points Saturday but shot 8-for-21 against a New Orleans defense that held Dallas to 43.4 percent shooting overall.

Nowitzki had eight free-throw attempts Saturday, and Gentry said Monday the Pelicans are seeking some clarification on what they did wrong on some fouls against the Mavericks forward.

“I thought we did a good job defensively,” Gentry said. “I thought even the switches on Dirk were great. We’re sending a couple of clips to the NBA office; we’ll let them tell us about them.”