Tyreke Evans expected to play; Nicolas Batum game-time decision for Portland

by Jim Eichenhofer

It appears that Tyreke Evans will be in uniform tonight after New Orleans’ starting shooting guard was forced to miss Thursday’s game with a right knee bruise. Austin Rivers started in Evans’ place in the 99-90 victory over the Houston Rockets, but would return to the reserve unit if Evans is available.

“He’s feeling a lot better. He wants to play tonight,” Pelicans Coach Monty Williams said of Evans. “We are going to make sure we monitor how he’s moving around, but he felt really good this morning. He felt good yesterday (compared to Thursday), felt better today.”

Meanwhile, Portland small forward Nicolas Batum (right wrist and left knee contusion) was listed as questionable in the injury report, but Terry Stotts said Batum’s status will be determined by how he feels after warming up.

In a 129-119 triple overtime win at San Antonio last night, Portland started Allen Crabbe at small forward and Joel Freeland at center (for the injured Robin Lopez, who’s out several weeks with a broken right hand). Trail Blazers stars Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge both played 50-plus minutes against the Spurs. Stotts said he will monitor Lillard, Aldridge and Wesley Matthews, who logged 50 minutes.

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