The Utah Jazz return home Monday night after a lengthy road trip to take on the Houston Rockets at EnergySolutions Arena.
Head coach Tyrone Corbin, upset at the Jazz's poor start in a Friday night loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, inserted Derrick Favors and Randy Foye into the starting lineup Saturday against the Washington Wizards. Gone were Marvin Williams and Gordon Hayward.
The move didn't pan out in the first quarter. Utah managed only 15 points, but the offensive began to flow and the Jazz kept the Wizards winless with an 83-76 victory.
"The last game of a four-game road trip, you typically get a little lower in energy," acknowledged Corbin. "We played last night, but we just didn't execute on either end of the floor as well as I thought we would."
Favors had nine points and 10 rebounds in the win, but Foye managed two points, zero rebounds, zero assists and three turnovers. Hayward responded to the benching with 15 points in 25 minutes.
The Jazz went 2-2 on the sojourn east, but have to be happy to get back to Salt Lake City. The Jazz are 3-0 at home this season and have two in a row in their building before four of the next five back out on the road.
The Rockets are mired in a two-game losing streak, including a 119-108 setback Sunday night against the Los Angeles Lakers. Monday's game completes a three- game road trip and Houston will try to salvage at least one victory.
The Rockets, who are 2-3 under interim coach Kelvin Sampson, who has the reins while Kevin McHale is on a personal leave of absence, gave up 40 points to the Lakers in the first quarter as Los Angeles is clearly buying into new coach Mike D'Antoni's offensive principles.
"The game was essentially lost in the first quarter," said Sampson. "It was 40-29 after the first quarter and the game was even after that. I just didn't like our resistance tonight. You've got to come with an edge - it's a mindset - and I thought we were performing tonight rather than competing."
Despite a triple-double from Kobe Bryant, there were some impressive performances from the Rockets on Sunday. Chandler Parsons had 24 points on 8- for-10 shooting and 4-for-5 from 3-point range. James Harden added 20 points and Jeremy Lin had 10 assists.
Houston has to play some defense if it wishes to get back into the win column. Over their last four games, the Rockets have allowed 111.75 ppg.
The Jazz have won two straight in this series and are 8-3 in their last 11 against Houston at home.