After missing his first game of the season Saturday, sitting out a win over Memphis due to swelling in his surgically repaired right knee, backup small forward Matt Harpring returned to the Jazz lineup for Monday night's 117-93 win over Sacramento.

The Saturday game also was the back end of a back-to-back set — Harpring played 17 minutes Friday at Seattle — and Harpring sugested scheduling was a factor in the decision to sit vs. the Grizzlies as well.

"The trainer, (Gary Briggs), and Dr. (Lyle) Mason (the Jazz's orthopedic specialist), we sat down ... and said, 'Let's take this next one off,' because we've got a lot of games coming up," Harpring said.

The 6-2 Jazz leave today for a three-games-in-four-nights trip that opens Wednesday in Toronto.

Harpring, still restricted by doctor's orders to about 16 minutes a game, had 10 points that included 6-of-6 free-throw shooting in 13 minutes Monday.

"It is what it is," Harpring said, adding the joint still is not 100 percent. "You've got to be smart about it. You know, this is a long season — and we've got to be able to look out for that."

Harpring's knee, twice previously repaired via microfracture surgery, was surgically cleared of scar tissue this past offseason.

MIXED MEMORIES: Asked Monday morning if he was looking forward to seeing Reggie Theus, the first-year Sacramento head coach who played for him in Chicago, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan was brutally honest.

"No, not necessarily," said Sloan, whose tenure with the Bulls ended with his being fired in 1982.

Asked what his memories of Theus in Chicago were, Sloan was candid as well: "Good and bad," he said. "No, I had good memories of Reggie. He worked hard; we had a few little disagreements at times."

Sloan also suggested he didn't exactly peg Theus as a future coach.

"Not at the time, no," he said. "But some players are different.

"People said I would never coach in this league," Sloan added, "and I've been blessed to stay around as long as I have, because I was crazy and I had all the other things that went along with it. But that doesn't mean you can't try."

ALUMNI UPDATE: Fifteen-season NBA center Olden Polynice, whose ex-teams include the Jazz and Sacramento, is now head coach and assistant general manager of the 37-team minor-league ABA's expansion Long Beach (Calif.) Breakers.

"It's kind of cliche, but I was a student of the game," Polynice told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. "I've always wanted to coach.

"My goal is to be in the NBA — again," Polynice added. "I love teaching. I figure after all those years that I have something to give back. I pride myself in knowing lots about basketball, the Xs and Os."

The Press-Telegram reported that " ... Polynice has proven to be a demanding but fair coach — even if players scream in pain at end-of-practice fitness drills."

Said Polynice: "I am not having them do things that I haven't done personally. I am a firm believer in being in shape. I'm a stickler for fitness. If you're in shape, you play better. Every year I came into camp, I was in the best shape out of everyone, and if not, I wasn't far behind."

MISC.: Jazz rookie shooting guard Morris Almond was inactive Monday for the sixth time in eight games this season. ... Ex-Jazz center Mikki Moore had nine rebounds and five points on 2-of-6 field shooting in 35 minutes for the Kings. ... Center Kevin Lyde, waived by the Jazz shortly before the season's start, is back with his old NBA Development League team, the Dakota Wizards, and both ex-Jazz point guard Randy Livingston and University of Utah/Weber State product Lance Allred both are back with Utah's former D-League affiliate, the Idaho Stampede.


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