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Pelicans’ Tyreke Evans out in Toronto due to rest, DeMar DeRozan ruled out for Raptors

TORONTO – Tyreke Evans has benefited greatly in recent weeks by a scheduling quirk that’s meant zero back-to-backs for New Orleans since Dec. 21, allowing Evans to play in 18 consecutive games. That run will come to an end Tuesday, however, as the Pelicans rest him on the first night of a back-to-back that continues Wednesday at Detroit.

In addition to not being allowed to play back-to-backs, Alvin Gentry said Evans has been on a minute restriction that keeps him to under roughly 27 minutes on any night. He also does not play stretches that are longer than eight minutes at a time. The vast majority of his 20 appearances this season has clocked in between 15 and 22 total minutes.

Other notes from pregame at Air Canada Centre:

Raptors All-Star shooting guard DeMar DeRozan is being held out of Tuesday’s game due to a sore right ankle. According to Toronto media relations, DeRozan “experienced some swelling after Sunday’s game (against Orlando). Precautionary measure.” …

Gentry on Toronto (29-19) playing without DeRozan: “Obviously you don’t want to have DeRozan out – he’s one of the better players not just on their team, but in the league. He’s a big difference. But they have guys that can step up. That’s why they’re a good team. They have depth.”

Formerly with San Antonio, Ontario native Cory Joseph has been a quality backup guard throughout his NBA career, but Toronto recently has started Norman Powell when DeRozan has been unavailable. That allows Joseph (only one start in 2016-17) to remain in his reserve role.