OAKLAND, Calif. — Point guard Tyreke Evans, such a key to the New Orleans Pelicans in the second half of the season, played just 11 minutes Saturday after suffering what the team called a bruised left knee.
After the game, Evans said he “felt a little pop.”
The injury came late in the first quarter. Evans came out with 1 minute, 27 seconds left in the period — standard for starters. He stayed on the bench for nearly half the second quarter, finally checking in with 6:18 remaining. He came right back out at 5:17.
“He got hit pretty hard on his knee, and something happened,” coach Monty Williams said.
Williams said he’s not sure about the extent of the injury but said Evans would get an MRI on Saturday evening.
The Pelicans were 18-19 on Jan. 12. Evans then moved over to point guard, the position he won Rookie of the Year honors with Sacramento six years ago. (Evans had been playing shooting guard and small forward.) The Pelicans went 27-18 after the position change and made the playoffs on the final day of the season.
Quincy Pondexter finished with 20 points on 7-of14 shooting.
But he didn’t seem overly impressed with his performance.
“My teammates found me; just played within the offense,” he said. “The ball finds you. That’s what we say around here, and sometimes it happens like that and you have a decent night.
“Who cares? We lost. It doesn’t matter. We’ve got to find a way to get these wins.”
The Golden State crowd took every opportunity to chant “MVP! MVP” for their preferred candidate, Stephen Curry. He didn’t disappoint, scoring 34 points on 13-of-25 shooting.
But it was the Warriors’ balance that killed New Orleans. All five Golden State starters scored in double-figures; Klay Thompson finished with 21.
Although the Pelicans made it close in the fourth quarter, the Warriors still out-rebounded New Orleans 47-44. Andrew Bogut grabbed 14 rebounds, and Draymond Green pulled down 12.
Pondexter and Omer Asik led the Pelicans with nine apiece. Anthony Davis had seven — all but one of them coming in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors kept power forward David Lee out of the game with a lower back strain. Lee missed 33 games this season with various injuries and lost his starting position to Harrison Barnes.
Lee averaged 7.9 points and 5.2 rebounds in 18 minutes this year.
Homecoming, Part I
Former Cal standout Ryan Anderson returned to the Bay Area, coming off the bench to grab five rebounds in 20 minutes. He had three points on 1-of-6 shooting, including 1-of-2 on 3-pointers.
Homecoming, Part II
Former Warriors coach Mark Jackson was part of ABC’s team announcing the game, along with Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy.
Jackson was fired last year after four seasons with Golden State, leading the Warriors to the playoffs the last two years. It reportedly was a personality conflict with ownership and the front office that led to Jackson’s firing.
He was replaced by Steve Kerr, who led the Warriors to a 67-15 record and is a Coach of the Year candidate.
Tickets were still available before the game, although by tipoff, the game was a sellout.
The crowd was announced at 19,596.