Utah Jazz notebook: Tyrone Corbin toys with making room in the starting lineup for Raja Bell
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Utah Jazz's musical-chair situation with their starting lineup could continue Thursday night against the Sacramento Kings.
At Wednesday's practice, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said he wasn't quite sure what the status will be for guards Raja Bell and Earl Watson, who are working their way back from injuries.
Bell has been a starter all season at shooting guard position — at least in the 33 games in which he's played. The 35-year-old has missed the past three games with a strained left adductor.
On Tuesday, Corbin said he would evaluate whether or not he'll reinsert the 12-year veteran back into the starting lineup.
Utah has played well with C.J. Miles in the first five the past three games, and Gordon Hayward replaced Josh Howard as a starter against the Thunder after the veteran small forward found out he'd need possible season-ending surgery on his left knee.
Both Bell and Watson went through practice in Salt Lake City before the team flew out to Sacramento.
Watson has been out for four-and-a-half games since spraining his left ankle during the Phoenix game last week.
"I feel good, just working hard to get better," Watson said, adding that he could've gone in the past two games had the Jazz needed him to play.
"I feel like I can play," Watson added, saying that he's well aware the Jazz and Jamaal Tinsley have played well in his absence. "(Corbin) knows that I don't want to mess up any rhythm."
ROAD CHALLENGE: The Jazz have won four straight and are coming off of a very solid win at the Staples Center this past Sunday, but they still only have a 6-16 mark away from Utah.
To get back into a playoff spot and keep their momentum going, the Jazz will obviously need to improve that road winning percentage.
Beginning Thursday night in Sacramento, the Jazz play four of the next five games and six of eight away from EnergySolutions Arena. Their schedule includes stops at the Kings, a three-game trip to Atlanta, New Jersey and Boston, and a two-game jaunt against the Clippers and Portland.
Paul Millsap said that 103-99 win put them on the right course away from home.
"We're just going to feed and build off of that, continue to get better off of that, do the things that helped us win that game — tighten down on defense, not allow ourselves to get out of the game (early)."
Hayward believes road success begins on one side of the court.
"Defense is always first," he said. "I think that's what we have to have here."
GO TEAM: The Jazz are finding success lately in part because of their unity.
"We come out and help each other because we have the same goal," Jazz big man Derrick Favors said. "We are trying to get to the playoffs. We have good chemistry with each other, and we all want to see each other succeed."
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