SALT LAKE CITY — There should be a new starting lineup on the floor tonight when the Utah Jazz play host to the Houston Rockets.
On what was a two-game losing streak after road losses at Boston and Philadelphia, head coach Tyrone Corbin juggled his starting lineup before Saturday’s victory over the lowly Washington Wizards. Corbin moved wings Marvin Williams and Gordon Hayward to the bench and promoted Randy Foye and Derrick Favors to the first team.
The move paid off with an 83-76 victory, sending the Wizards to an 0-8 record.
The Jazz finished their four-game road trip with a record of 2-2, beating Toronto and Washington but falling to the Celtics and 76ers.
Utah (5-6) didn’t look great to start the game but held on late, partly because the Wizards couldn’t figure out what they were doing.
“It wasn’t a pretty one,” said Favors, who scored nine points and had 10 rebounds. “We kind of played bad in the first half, but we came out in the second half and played with a lot of energy and we got the win.”
Favors started at power forward, which sent Paul Millsap to small forward.
Small forward isn’t Millsap’s natural position and he has struggled to defend quicker opponents on the wing. However, he has also been on record saying he’ll play whatever position he’s asked.
After Saturday’s game Millsap, who missed his first 10 shots, said he thinks the new lineup will be fine after an adjustment period.
The Jazz fell behind the Wizards 11-0 on Saturday before rallying to win.
Corbin has used Millsap, Favors and center Al Jefferson in the frontcourt in the past, including during the playoffs last season.
“We’re used to playing with that big lineup,” Jefferson said. “That is no excuse, the reason why we started off 0-11. Whatever the reason was, we got passed it and got it going.”
Hayward came off the bench to score 15 points, although he shot just 4-of-10 from the field. But he was aggressive in driving to the basket and made six trips to the free throw line, hitting all six attempts.
Forward DeMarre Carroll played a season-high 23 minutes off the bench and seemed to provide a spark of energy.
“We have a lot of scorers but we don’t have many people who will come in and do the dirty work that’s why they call me Junk Yard Dog,” Carroll said. “So I just come in a do whatever it takes to help my team win.”
The Jazz are 3-0 at home this season, averaging just over 100 points per game. Going into Sunday’s game at the Los Angeles Lakers, the Rockets were averaging 104 points per game on the road, tied for the most in the NBA.