Tyreke Evans back early from injury

Updated: December 12, 2013, 2:34 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW ORLEANS -- Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans has returned to action two days after the club said he was expected to miss one to two weeks with a left ankle sprain.

The 6-foot-6 guard/forward checked in for starting small forward Al-Farouq Aminu with about four minutes left in the first quarter of New Orleans' eventual 111-106 overtime win against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

Evans finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 24 minutes, and made all six of his free throws.

He admitted he played in pain.

"I just felt like I could help," Evans said, adding that he understood his team was already short-handed because of Anthony Davis' broken hand. "Once I felt like I could run and cut side to side, I said, 'I'm going to play.'"

Evans was hurt while trying to drive past Kevin Durant in the third quarter of Friday night's loss to Oklahoma City. He crashed to the floor on the baseline and needed help getting to the locker room.

Evans wound up not missing a single full game. Before Wednesday, he had averaged 11.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.3 steals in 24.9 minutes per game.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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