On Friday night, they were chanting “REG-GIE! REG-GIE! REG-GIE!” in New York.
And no, it wasn’t for Jackson. It was for Evans.
“They just want to see me make it,” said Evans who went just 5-for-16 from the stripe but grabbed a career-high 24 rebounds in Brooklyn’s 95-78 victory over Washington at Barclays Center. “They know I’m a poor free-throw shooter, so it’s almost like instead of kicking a person [while they’re] down you might as well lift them up. At the end of day, everybody wants to win. So it was enjoyment. It was almost like it was better if you missed it, then made it, because it was so exciting. So it was fun.
“It was exciting. It was exciting. It made me feel ... I was happy,” Evans continued. “I was just smiling on the inside. I was enjoying the moment no matter I I made it or missed it because I was confident we were going to win the game. I was excited and it showed when I went to the bench.”
Evans received a standing ovation when he checked out of the game late, and the crowd chanted “We want Reg-gie! We want Reg-gie!” as he sat on the bench.
“Our fans were turned up tonight. We were turned up to. It was like we were missing each other,” Evans said. “That’s the best way to put it. We were missing each other. So we was just happy to see each other.”
Evans was poked in his left eye in the fourth quarter and could barely open it during his postgame interview.
“It hurts me. It’s kind of getting on my nerves right now,” he said. “At the free throw line. I got my own rebound ... somebody poked me and fouled me and stuff and that’s when I felt it. I was feeling dizzy and stuff. You know how you just see everything.”
Evans is the only player in the NBA to have multiple 23-plus rebound games this season. He has record 20-plus rebounds in a game four times -- tied for the league lead.