PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Suns did not get their first victory until they were on their second head coach, and they will take momentum from that win into a matchup against the potentially weary Utah Jazz.
The Suns and interim coach Jay Triano will play host Wednesday to the Jazz, who will be playing their second game in as many nights, their second back-to-back this season and fourth game in six days.
A day after firing Earl Watson, the Suns (1-3) jumped to a 22-point, first-quarter lead Monday and held on for a 117-115 home victory over the Sacramento Kings. Leading scorer Devin Booker, averaging 18 points a game, had 22.
"Everything that happened in the last 24 hours should have been eye-opening to us, and I am proud of the team in how we responded. Came out and fought," said Booker, who labeled it a must-win.
Triano adjusted the Suns' starting lineup, replacing rookie small forward Josh Jackson with second-year power forward Marquese Chriss. Jackson, the fourth player taken in the 2017 draft, started the first three games in a two-small-forward alignment with TJ Warren.
Watson questioned the Suns' unity and energy level in their first three losses, two by more than 40 points, before being let go. Triano plans to focus on those same areas.
"I told all of the players, if I don't see an energy level to my standards, I'm going to get subs in," said Triano, who also spent four seasons as head coach of the Toronto Raptors from 2008-11. "We're going to play at a high level. We're going to be energized. And if you don't play that way, I'll find someone that will."
The ultra-balanced Jazz, who fell to the Los Angeles Clippers 102-84 on Tuesday night, have four starters averaging between 12 and 15 points a game. Center Rudy Gobert, a top defender, is averaging 14 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Gobert had 16 points and 13 rebounds in a 96-87 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday.
Utah (2-2) has scored more than 100 points once, in its 106-96 season-opening victory over the Denver Nuggets. The Jazz are averaging 95.8 points a game, second fewest in the league behind the New York Knicks.
"You have to be who you are," Utah coach Quin Snyder said. "In the end, it's all about what style you play that fits your team."
Guard Rodney Hood, who sustained a left calf injury Friday, missed his second consecutive game Tuesday, although his replacement, rookie Donovan Mitchell, led the Jazz with 19 points. Hood averaged 12.7 points a game last season after a producing career-high 14.5 the season before.
Suns guard Mike James, a veteran of the European leagues who is in his first year in the NBA, started Monday in place of point guard Eric Bledsoe and scored a season-high 18 points.
Bledsoe appears to have played his last game with the team after tweeting "I Dont want to be here" on Sunday afternoon, a few hours before Watson was fired. A trade seems inevitable, although it remains to be seen whether the Suns can get equal value.
Bledsoe requested a trade in an offseason meeting with general partner and Robert Sarver and general manager Ryan McDonough, according to reports, because he was frustrated with the direction of the team.
He signed a max five-year, $70 million contract before the 2014-15 season and is owed $14.5 million this year and $15 million in 2018-19. Bledsoe averaged a career-high 21.1 points and 6.3 assists per game in 66 games last season but was held out of the final 16 games.