Pelicans’ Evans x-rays negative after leaving game

History seemed to repeat itself for the third time just before the half Friday night in the New Orleans Arena, as Tyreke Evans stepped on a defender’s foot and went down, twisting his left ankle.

Evans was visibly in pain, but managed to sink a pair of free throws to put the Pelicans ahead before hobbling into the locker room at halftime.

“It wasn’t that bad,” Evans said. “I just tweaked it a little bit. I’ll just wait and see. Hopefully I’ll be all right.”

The x -rays on Evans’ ankle came back negative, but the ligaments are likely stretched. Team doctors gave him crutches to use to keep weight off of his foot, but Evans hopes to play Sunday versus Denver.

“This is the least of the three sprains,” Evans said. “I was able to walk it off afterwards, so that’s a good sign.”

Evans sprained the same ankle in New Orleans’ first pre season game, sidelining him until the beginning of the regular season.

Then last Friday against the Oklahoma City Thunder, he went down again on his left ankle and was supposed to miss 1-2 weeks. Evans was determined to play, however, and returned to action Wednesday without missing a game, leading New Orleans to victory.

“I felt like I had strength,” Evans said. “My cuts were pretty good, running laterally and everything like that. Maybe a little bit more rest would have helped, definitely.”

Evans and the Pelicans training staff will have to determine if his ankle can handle pushing the envelope again, despite Evans’ goal of playing on the team’s first road stop Sunday versus the Nuggets.

One thing is certain: if Evans does agree to rest his ankle at all during the team’s upcoming West Coast road trip, he’ll fight to play Monday, December 23. That’s when the Pelicans take on the Sacramento Kings in Sleep Train Arena, the place where Evans played from 2009 until he was traded to New Orleans in 2013. Evans has no doubt had that game circled on his calendar since arriving in the Crescent City.